DENVER — A 15-year-old being held on murder charges appeared in court Monday afternoon. The unnamed suspect was arrested over the weekend in connection with the death of 10-year-old Kiaya Campbell.
The Thornton community continues to mourn her loss with a growing memorial as the district attorney takes the lead on the case.
The 15-year-old and his family appeared in court during a hearing. The district attorney said he will look at whether or not to try him as an adult. If he decides the suspect should be tried as an adult, he would have to submit a request.
"Well it’s something that we would look at in any juvenile case to see if they’re eligible for adult court and certainly that’s something we would do on a case by case basis," said David Young, the District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District.
Campbell left her dad's home in Thornton with a 15-year-old to walk to a nearby store last Wednesday evening. She never returned home but the boy did.
On Thursday, police issued an AMBER Alert, leading to a large scale investigation by more than 20 police agencies and hundreds of volunteers. Later that day, a nearby resident located the body of a young girl.
That body was later identified as Campbell, and her death was ruled a homicide on Friday. Two days later police announced the arrest of a 15-year-old in connection with the case.
Thornton Police collected what they described as a "massive" amount of evidence in the neighborhood where her body was found. That evidence will likely be critical as the case moves forward.
The suspect is set to appear in court again on Wednesday to face formal charges.
TIMELINE: Follow the developing timeline in the following pages of this story.
Wednesday, June 7 — Campbell leaves her home with a 15-year-old friend at about 7 p.m. to head to a shopping center.
Wednesday, June 7 — At 11:52 p.m., Thornton Police Department officers rushed to Forest Drive when family members reported Campbell as missing. Originally, police said she had been separated from the 15-year-old friend in a rain storm near the 12900 block of Colorado Boulevard.
Thursday, June 8 — Through the night and early into the morning of June 8, police continued a wide search that included bodies of water.
Thursday, June 8 — AMBER Alert activated at 1:37 p.m. as concern grows and search intensifies. Police gave a new location where she had last been seen at 12466 Forest Drive.
Thursday, June 8 — AMBER Alert cancelled after a resident found Campbell's body at 5:30 p.m.
Friday, June 9 — Coroner identifies the body as that of 10-year-old Campbell on Friday afternoon. The coroner affirms the cause of death was not accidental.
Friday, June 9 — At 7 p.m., Thornton Police Department officials deem the investigation a homicide.
Friday, June 9 — Hundreds of pieces of evidence have been collected, with police announcing they will be sorted and analyzed.
Saturday, June 10 — At 11:38 p.m., police arrested a 15-year-old juvenile male for investigation of first-degree murder.
Sunday, June 11 — Police release details of the arrest to the public, declining to name the teen.
Monday, June 12 — The 15-year-old appeared at a 1:30 p.m. hearing to decide where the teen will be held. The judge closed the hearing, denying media access.
Denver7 will continue to update this timeline as the story develops.