ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Two days after her body was found in a wooded area near her St. Johns County home, authorities announced Tuesday that 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey was stabbed to death.
According to the medical examiner, Bailey’s death was a homicide caused by “sharp force trauma by stabbing,” the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted to its Facebook page.
Bailey’s 14-year-old schoolmate, Aiden Fucci, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in her death.
According to a report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Fucci’s story has changed multiple times since the start of the investigation but deputies said he ultimately made several admissions that have been verified through surveillance video and other pieces of evidence, including footage from a nearby home that showed the pair walking together around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Bailey was reported missing around 10 a.m. that day.
Bailey was later found dead at the south end of a retention pond about .3 miles from Fucci’s home and near the home that captured them on surveillance video, according to the report. Bailey appeared to have a significant injury to her head and other trauma, officials said.
A search warrant was executed at Fucci’s home, where investigators said several items of evidentiary value were found, including clothing that appeared to be consistent with what was captured on surveillance video and items with blood on them, according to the report.
Earlier Tuesday, Fucci appeared via Zoom before a Volusia County judge, who ordered that the teen be held on murder charges for 21 days or until another court order is issued.
The 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office has not yet decided if Fucci will be charged as an adult.
Both of Fucci’s parents and his attorney were on the Zoom call.
[Press play below to watch the full first appearance]
Social media posts investigated
St. Johns County detectives are reviewing social media posts as part of the investigation into Bailey’s death, including a widely shared photograph showing Fucci in the back seat of a deputy’s cruiser, according to WJXT.
In the photo, the unhandcuffed teen has his hands in the peace sign with the caption: “Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately.”
St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick said at a news conference Monday that investigators were reviewing online evidence and that it may help their case.
“I will say our real-time intelligence center really has captured all these videos as much as we can. We monitor it,” Hardwick said.