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IN People ON 03 Jan, 2016
A family in Utah has been left in mourning after an incident that seems to be straight out of a crime thriller. As investigations continue and more and more details unearthed about the heinous crime that has been committed, people are beginning to find themselves with more and more questions and lesser and lesser answers. Scroll down to know exactly what has happened, and what makes it so eerie.
12-year-old Kailey Vijil and her family recently moved to their new home on West Valley City, Utah. They hoped to blend with the new community, but least did they know that someone in the same locality was out hunting for an unsuspecting victim.
According to local authorities, Kailey's 15-year-old neighbor knocked on her door around midnight and asked Kaile's 14-year-old sister for help in finding his lost cat. When the sister declined, he asked Kailey for the same help, and she went out with him to find his cat, even though the two had never met before. Kailey's sister told her mother about Kailey accompanying the boy. But around 1:30 am, the parents had to report their daughter missing, and only two hours after that, Kailey's dead body was found in an overgrown horse pasture.
The police arrested the boy later that day. During their investigation, the police discovered that Kailey was not the boy's first target to be a victim. It appears that the boy had been moving from house to house, trying to lure other innocent, unsuspecting children out of their houses. From what the police has found, the boy had even tried to lure another girl, Mia Montana, asking her to see his "castle!" However, she declined the offer, saying she had to go to lunch.
In the same neighborhood, another mother, Stephanie Sala, said that the kid had approached her, asking if he could play with her 5-year-old daughter. She, however, refused because something seemed very off as he had particularly asked for her 5-year-old daughter, and not any of her 5-year-old son, her 10-year-old nephew or her 12-year-old son to come and play.
The police found Kailey's lifeless body in an overgrown pasture with grass swaying four feet high. The body shows signs of struggle, and it has been determined that Kailey was strangled to death. In a parallel set of events, the accused boy's family claims that their boy has nothing to do with the murder. They said, "Our hearts and prayers are with the Vijil family and may God comfort all families hurt by this terrible tragedy."
Eric Tetro's home is positioned on the pasture where Kailey's body was dumped. He says that ever since the incident, he and his family has been forced to live in dread as people have begun to assume they had something to do with the murder. People have resorted to throwing stones at their house and flashing weapons at them. And apparently, someone even walked up to their front door and threatened his wife.
Eric and his family are not suspects of the police investigation. In fact, they are empathetic of the situation, and are just as sad and concerned as anybody else. "I just wish people would understand it's not us. We didn't choose to have what happened to that little girl in our yard," he says.
A candlelit vigil was held for Kailey in a West Valley park where her family was joined by friends and strangers alike to honor their daughter. Candles were lit in front of a picture of Kailey and the event was in all purple, the 12-year-old's favorite color. Over a 100 people from the community gathered together and released purple balloons into the sky while Kailey's mother, Deshaun Undergust, wept relentlessly.
Neighbors have come together to be more vigilant of one another. One of the locality's residents, Felipe Montano, the father of the 8-year-old girl that the boy tried to lure away earlier, said that he was "sick and mad" about Kailey's murder. He admits that it could have easily been his daughter, and he deeply feels for Kailey's family's loss. "There is a family out there that everybody needs to pray for who did lose their child who is not as lucky as we were," Felipe said. "Be aware of your children, keep an eye on them, watch them."
Although soaked in the deepest grief possible, Kailey's mother says that she does not hold the boy's family responsible for what happened to her daughter. Dave Gomez, the neighbor who had organized the candlelit vigil, spoke on behalf of the mother, and said Kailey's mother "hold no malice or problems" with the boys mother who, too, will lose a child in a different way. "She wants her to know that her heart's going out to her, her prayers are going out to her, and she knows her process is going to be a lot more difficult than what she has been dealing with."