A 15-year-old boy was charged with an open count of murder after his missing 10-year-old sister was found in a field near her family’s home, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said Sunday.
Isabella Heffernan who was last seen Saturday night when she went to bed at her home northeast of Panama City. Family members reported the girl missing shortly before 11:30 a.m. the following day, McKeithen stated in a Facebook post.
Bay County air units, search and rescue crews and a K-9 unit were called in to look for the child.
Isabella’s body was discovered in a large field behind her residence, about 5 hours after she was reported missing.
The girl’s brother’s, Fredrick Matthew Lochridge, was identified as a suspect in the case, the sheriff said. The teen was later charged in her death.
During a news conference on Monday morning, McKeitehn described the boy as “hardcore,” and said he acted much older than his age when interacting with authorities, according to local television station NECN.
A cause of death for Isabella has not yet been released.