Alabama authorities charge man in death of 11-year-old girl


DEKALB COUNTY, Alabama – A man has been arrested in connection with the death of 11-year-old Amberly Barnett, the sheriff of DeKalb County, Alabama, said Monday at a news conference. The girl’s body was found Saturday.

Christopher Wayne Madison, 33, was charged with capital murder, Sheriff Nick Welden told reporters. He is being held in jail without bond.

The girl’s body was found in the woods about 200 yards from the suspect’s home, Welden said. The cause of death was strangulation, he said.

Amberly was last seen Friday around 6 p.m. in the Mount Vernon community in northeast Alabama, and searchers found her body about 6:30 a.m. the next day, the sheriff’s office said.

Barnett had been at her aunt’s house, Amberly’s mother, Jonie L. Barnett, said on Facebook. The aunt was grocery shopping when the girl went missing, Barnett said.

In an interview with CNN affiliate WSB, Jonie Barnett said she’s searching for answers.

“Nobody should bury their 11-year-old child,” she said. “Nobody should have hurt her.”

The sheriff has not released much information because of the ongoing investigation and would not take questions at the Monday news conference.

“Due to the ongoing investigation, and in order not to jeopardize that investigation, I am not at liberty to disclose any additional information concerning this case. The road to justice for this sweet, innocent little girl is too important to release anything to jeopardize this investigation,” the sheriff said in a news release.

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