Valley Springs, CA – Eight-year-old Leila Fowler attended Jenny Lind Elementary School in Valley Springs. Three days after Leila’s murder a candlelight vigil was held at the school. Thousands of people attended the service including her 12-year-old brother who is now accused of killing his sister.
Below is a statement released today by the Calaveras Unified School District’s Superintendent regarding the arrest in the murder of former student Leila Fowler:
In light of the recent arrest in the homicide of Leila Fowler, Calaveras Unified School District stands ready to provide whatever level of support and assistance is necessary to the Fowler family, as well as the students, staff, parents and CUSD community.
Our hearts and thoughts are with all who are impacted, directly and indirectly, by this unspeakably tragic turn of events.
Our appreciation and respect go to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department for the dedicated and thorough nature of the investigation, as well as the attention paid to our school district in helping to provide a safe and secure environment for all.
Our primary ongoing objective is to provide a safe and productive learning environment for our students and staff, and we will mobilize all necessary resources in doing so.
We ask that, out of respect and acknowledgment of our quest to provide whatever degree of operational normalcy is possible, that the press and the community-at-large work with us in this endeavor.
CUSD—Make Every Moment and Every Day Matter for Every Student
Leila Fowler was stabbed to death in her Rancho-Calaveras home on Rippon Road on April 27th. Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office reported that after a 15-day investigation, Fowler’s 12-year-old brother was arrested at 5:10pm at the Valley Springs substation. The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the name of the boy because he is a minor.
Initially the brother told investigators that he chased a murder suspect out of the home the day his eight-year-old sister was stabbed multiple times. A neighbor also said she saw a similar man running from the house the day of the murder. However, five days later when that witness met with police and a sketch artist, she abruptly recanted her statement.
At that time, when asked if the boy or a family member was a suspect, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Hewitt said, “The family, right now, they are being interviewed as witnesses in this case. We do have other leads that we are following up on hopefully developing a composite sketch.” Hewitt would not elaborate on those possible other leads, but said they were working with the 12-year-old brother to get a composite sketch of the killer.
A couple days after the murder, FBI agents assisted local investigators and searched the Fowler’s home. Several knives were taken into evidence for testing. Also, the FBI brought in some special dogs to search for possible trails of blood.
Last weekend, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Officials revisited around 300 hundreds homes in the Rancho-Calaveras Subdivision to see if someone may have seen something or even the killer. Also, dive recovery teams from Calaveras and Stanislaus Counties searched through two nearby ponds last Sunday through Wednesday searching for evidence, but wouldn’t say exactly what they were looking for in the ponds.
On Friday, May 10th, Sheriff’s Officials reported they would not be diving again and that investigators were working on sifting through all the information taken when detectives re-canvased the neighborhood for leads. They stated that could take weeks. Then just yesterday they announced Leila Fowler’s 12-year-old brother was arrested for the murder of his sister. Sherriff’s Officials say the investigation is still on going and they would not comment further on the case.