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The St. Johns County Sheriff’s office believes that Bailey was killed by the boy who was her neighbor and attends Patriot Oaks Academy with her. Police revealed that social media posts from the suspect helped aid in their investigation.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed that the boy in a Snapchat being circulated online is the suspect. In the post, the 14-year-old is showing a peace sign with the caption: “Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately.” This photograph would’ve been taken after Bailey was murdered.
The 13-year-old Bailey went missing shortly after midnight on Sunday, prompting police to put out a missing person alert. Bailey’s body was found in a remote wooded area later that day by a local resident. Although the two teens lived near each other and attended the same school, it is unclear if they had a pre-existing relationship prior to the murder.
The suspect is currently being held on one count of second-degree murder by the Department of Juvenile Justice. Per Sheriff Robert Hardwick, these charges could change as the investigation continues since they are combing through “multiple crime scenes.”
“That’s actually a decision we made collectively … with the State Attorney’s Office,” Sheriff Hardwick said when announcing the arrest and charges. “We can always increase the charge.”
Bailey’s official cause of death has not been released by the medical examiner. The suspect is scheduled for his first court appearance on Tuesday.