ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 16-year-old boy has been charged with the stabbing death of a 13-year-old girl who had been missing for six days earlier this summer after sneaking from her bedroom window.
A previously sealed grand jury indictment handed down last week accuses 16-year-old Branden Ling of stabbing 13-year-old Delaney Zutz numerous times. Court papers filed with the indictment say the victim was stabbed even after she died, and parts of her clothing had been cut off. Traces of the suspect's semen were also found on the girl's clothes.
Ling was arraigned as an adult in Superior court Monday afternoon. He was charged with 1st- and 2nd-degree murder. The first-degree count includes the charge that the death occurred while the suspect was committing a sexual offense.
Ling was already in custody at McLaughlin Youth Center on a July 27 auto theft charge.
Investigators also searched the suspect's home computer. On it they found a number of violent and sexually explicit Internet sites, police Chief Walt Monegan said in Monday morning press conference.
Court papers filed Monday afternoon said Ling had earlier talked with other teens about raping and killing girls. Those words were thought to be no more than empty talk until those same teens heard about Delaney Zutz' death.
Court papers also say that Ling claims to have blacked out from alcohol and doesn't remember the events leading to Zutz' death.
Zutz was reported missing for six days after sneaking out of her parents' home in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 10. Police said she left with a boy who came to her basement bedroom window, the same boy now charged in her death.
Her body was found the following Monday in some woods near the family's South Anchorage home.
Ling and Zutz apparently knew each other and had been out late at night on other occasions, along with many other neighborhood teens. The fact that the suspect turned out to be one of Delaney Zutz' friends was a shock to her father, David Zutz.
''It's pretty hard when you can't protect your children from their friends,'' David Zutz said outside the courtroom.
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