2:08 PM PDT, May 19, 2021
Tristyn Bailey, the 13-year-old Florida cheerleader who allegedly died at the hands of her schoolmate, was killed in what authorities are calling a “cold-blooded murder.” This comes as the medical examiner determined the seventh grader’s death was a homicide by “sharp force trauma by stabbing.”
“This is a cold-blooded murder of a 13-year-old young girl who did not deserve to die,” St. Johns County Sheriff Robb Hardwick told WJXT. “It is horrific. It’s horrible. And the word accident is nowhere involved in this case.”
He added that 14-year-old Aiden Fucci, who was in the eighth grade at Patriot Oaks Academy where Tristyn was in the seventh, is the only suspect in this case. The pair grew up in the same neighborhood, but authorities have not yet clarified what their relationship was, nor has a motive for the killing been established.
Aiden has been charged with second-degree murder.
“I can just tell you that the man’s a cold-blooded killer,” Hardwick said. “And I hate to even say man. He’s a child, but he committed a man’s crime. And with that being said of course I think he is being held responsible for the crime committed.”
A search of Aiden’s home had led to authorities finding “multiple items of evidentiary value,” a press release said. Clothes that Aiden had been wearing when he was allegedly caught on surveillance footage near the area Tristyn’s body was found tested positive for blood, a police report said, according to WTLV.
Tristyn’s body was discovered Sunday evening in a remote wooded area with a pond by a resident living nearby. The area is one of at least six crime scenes related to the case, WJAX reported.
Aiden appeared in court for the first time Tuesday, and was ordered to remain in the custody for the Department of Juvenile Justice for the next 21 days as the State Attorney’s Office decides whether he will be tried as an adult.
At the time of his arrest, Aiden posted a chilling selfie in the back of the squad car while holding up a peace sign on Snapchat, with a caption reading, “Hey guys has inybody [anybody] seen Tristyn lately”.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Director Howard Cole told WJXT that that social media post, along with other concerning comments, are part of the investigation.
“I look at that Snapchat photo just as everybody else does. It is what it is. It’s in the file, part of the case,” Cole said. “These kids have no idea the magnitude of their words and the things they post, and it’s frankly reprehensible.”
Aiden’s lawyer, Anwar Snober, has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.