A 15-year-old girl is in jail in Rhode Island, charged with killing a 68-year-old grandmother whose family was reportedly trying to adopt her, the Providence Journal reports.
Heavenly Arroyo, originally of Rochester, New York, was arrested on October 6 and charged with stabbing Ana Vazquez as many as 20 times in her Fall River home, the Journal said. She’s being held without bail.
A prosecutor told the Journal that Vazquez’s family wanted to adopt Arroyo, but because of privacy concerns could not provide any detailed information. Arroyo had reportedly been living in Fall River for two weeks, and her mother, who lives in Rochester, reportedly knew the family and allowed her to live there.
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The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said police responded to an emergency call at the home late on October 6 and found what appeared to be blood on the stairway leading to the second floor, according to the Journal. There, they found Vazquez on her bedroom floor with blood stained bed linen and pillows.
She was rushed to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Vazquez’s grandson and Arroyo were in the house at the time, police said. The grandson said he was playing video games when Arroyo told him his grandmother was on the floor of her bedroom, the Journal said.
According to a police report, Arroyo was heard to say “I killed the old lady and I’m sorry” while walking around the interview room when she was in custody, according to WPRI.
The Journal reported that investigators linked Arroyo to the killing with surveillance footage from the Fall River Housing Authority. Investigators found clothing and other items in a dumpster, some of which were reported to be bloody.
At her first court appearance earlier this month, Arroyo smiled and said “That’s me!” when she heard her name. John Geary, an attorney appointed to defend her, said he believed it was her first time in a courtroom.
“You’ve got to remember, she’s a 15-year-old and this is her first experience as far as I can tell,” he told the Journal. “She knows she was in court. I don’t believe she knew the seriousness of what was happening.”
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