Jorely Rivera, a 7-year-old girl, whose body was found in a Georgia dumpster, was bludgeoned, sexually assaulted and stabbed in a particularly vicious attack by a killer who police believe lives in her apartment complex.
The wounds to Jorely Rivera body were so severe Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan would not give any details.
Vernon Keenan would only say she had blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds and that the crime as a “very horrific and brutal murder”.
Jorely Rivera was taken to a vacant apartment where she was sexually assaulted, stabbed and beaten to death, police believe.
The killer then threw little girl’s brutally disfigured body into a trash bin near her home in Canton, Georgia where it was found by police.
“It came about 60 to 90 minutes after she disappeared,” Vernon Keenan said.
“This was a very calculated and planned crime.
“A child who dies under extreme violence is absolutely the worst thing that can happen to a human being.”
Investigators believe the killer either lives in the apartment complex or has regular access to it.
No suspects are in custody but investigations continue. DNA evidence has been collected from the child’s body and the vacant apartment.
Jorely Rivera was last seen on Friday afternoon, and her body was discovered around 12:30 p.m. on Monday.
Police and volunteers had spent the weekend combing the area around the apartment complex playground where the girl was last seen.
At the time of her disappearance, Jorely Rivera was being looked after by a teenage babysitter along with her two siblings.
She had left the park to go and collect drinks from home for her friends, and disappeared between the playground and her home at the River Ridge Apartments.
Police had sent several Coca-Cola cans found nearby for forensic testing to see if these are the drinks that the child had gone to collect for her friends.
Jorely Rivera’s mother, Joselin, had made an emotional plea for her return and her father, who lives in Florida, had flown to the city in Cherokee County.
A friend translated for Spanish-speaking Joselin Rivera to local TV station 11alive.com.
Joselin Rivera said her daughter was “friendly, sweet, had lots of friends and everyone just loved her”.
Vernon Keenan said investigators have received numerous tips from the public and said valuable evidence has come from residents at the apartment complex.
Several sex offenders living at the complex have been identified and interviewed, he said.
But Vernon Keenan added: “We have no reason to believe, at this point, that sex offenders are involved.”
About 65 local, state and federal investigators are working on the case and several hundred interviews have been conducted, authorities said.
Maria Rodriguez, a former resident of the apartment complex, said she works with Jorely Rivera’s mother at a nearby poultry plant.
“She was a very sweet girl,” Maria Rodriguez said as she held her own four-year-old daughter.
“She was the type of little girl who likes her presence to be known. It’s just so sad.”
Police have removed two other young children from the Rivera home over “concern about the supervision of Jorely,” said Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
He said no charges were expected against the mother or the baby sitter.
A prayer vigil was held late Monday at the playground, where people left flowers, balloons and stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial for Jorely Rivera.
A $15,000 reward has been issued for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the girl’s killer.
“We’re following up on every single tip,” Jay Baker said.