7-Year-Old Cheerleader Found Dead in Pond Behind Kentucky School Was Raped, Strangled: Police

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The man accused of killing a 7-year-old Kentucky girl who was found dead in a pond after she vanished during a football game made his first court appearance on Monday.

A judge has ordered Timothy Madden, 38, be held on $1 million cash bond in the case, according to local TV station WLKY.

Madden, who has been charged with murder, is accused of raping, sodomizing, strangling and drowning 7-year-old Gabriella “Gabbi” Doolin, WZTV reported. An attorney helped him enter a not guilty plea during the court appearance.

The girl’s mother broke down in tears as the charges were read against the man suspected in the brutal killing, according to WZTV.

Doolin disappeared from a crowd watching a youth football game November 14 in Scottsville, a town of about 4,200 people near Bowling Green, CNN affiliate WSMV reported.

When her parents realized she was missing, an announcement was made on the public address system. The game was stopped and everybody in the stands started looking for her.

Less than half an hour later her body was found in a creek about 400 yards from the Allen County-Scottsville High School stadium, where the game had been played, according to WSMV.

The slaying has shaken the town.

“It’s just something we never thought would happen,” Misty Hollars, a friend of the slain girl’s father, told WSMV. “We are a small town. We watch everybody else’s kids.”

Madden, 38, of Scottsville, was arrested on Friday. Kentucky State Police announced at a news conference that he had been charged with murder, kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy.

In a jailhouse interview with CNN affiliate WDRB, Madden said the charges were “bogus.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said. “I’m a very innocent man. They can ask anybody that knows me.”

Madden said he went to school with Gabbi’s father and was friends with the Doolin family. He said he attended the game that night and his daughter cheered with Gabbi. Police interviewed him that night, he said.

“They interrogated me — like three or four times,” he told WDRB. “Polygraph. I give them my clothes that night. They did mention I had blood on my clothes. But I rubbed against the fence, like I said.”

Mark Ross, speaking to WBKO at a prayer vigil before the arrest was made, expressed the community’s disbelief.

“You just don’t realize that there are people that would do this that are in this community,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re from here or where they’re from, but that someone could actually do that in an area where you feel so safe. You just don’t, you just don’t think it could happen.”