Utah police suspect a teenager accused of luring a 12-year-old neighbor girl from her home and strangling her may have sexually assaulted the girl, according to search warrants unveiled this week.
Police in West Valley City investigated the case as a killing and sexual assault after they found 12-year-old Kailey Vijil’s naked body on July 17 in a horse pasture with a shirt around her neck, according to warrants made public Thursday.
Prosecutors have charged a 15-year-old boy with aggravated murder but not sexual assault.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Friday would not say why his office had not charged the teenager with sexual assault and whether the crime would be added.
“This is an open case and prosecution and so we’re not going to speculate about any charges,” Gill said. “Like any complex case, we continue to do our due diligence.”
The Associated Press is not naming the defendant because he is a juvenile. A message left Friday with the boy’s attorney Michael Sikora was not immediately returned.
When the boy made an initial appearance in juvenile court last month, one of his attorneys said he didn’t think the boy understood what was happening but did not elaborate on the teen’s mental state.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that the teenager enticed the girl from her house by knocking on her door and asking for help looking for a lost cat. They want to charge the boy as an adult, but a judge has not ruled on that request yet.
The teenager is due back in court later this month.