Credit: ABC News Photo: Leila Fowler

Our hearts ached when Leila Fowler, 8, was found dead in her home last month, stabbed to death repeatedly. The newest development in this case came Sunday, when it was reported that Leila’s 12-year-old brother had been arrested for her murder, the L.A. Times reports.

Leila and her older brother had been left at home while their parents were out watching a little league game. The mother of the children, Priscilla Rodriguez, was notified just hours before the arrest of her son that he was being investigated. She told CBS Sacramento of her kids, “They never even used to fight when they were little. I would never see him be mean to her.”

The only lead officials had was a description of a tall man with gray hair that Leila’s brother had said he had seen fleeing the scene. Police then began a two week-long manhunt that lasted over 2,000 hours and utilized not only the strength of the local authorities but also that of the FBI. Each house and shed was thoroughly searched as well as two reservoirs before officials made their arrest of the boy.

"Citizens of Calaveras County, you can sleep a little better tonight," Sheriff Gary Kuntz told reporters Saturday. Residents who had been told to keep their doors locked throughout the manhunt no doubt breathed a sigh of relief before the ultimate shock of the boy’s arrest.

"We're just in a fog," the boy’s older brother, Justin Fowler, 19, told The Associated Press, according to CBS News. He also said, "We're just trying to stay positive, but it's hard.”

The children’s school is also having a tough time coping with the recent events. "Our kids are experiencing a lot of mixed emotions," said school Superintendent Mark Campbell. "We have a degree of ease that it's not a random assailant, but it's a double whammy from our school perspective. We lost a student and we stand to lose another. It's a lot for our kids to process."

Since he is a minor, no details are being released at this time of the boy’s name or of the ongoing case against him.

Our thoughts are with the family at this incredibly difficult time.

Sources: L.A. Times, CBS Sacramento, CBS News


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