16-year-old rodeo sweetheart murdered by childhood friend who invented suspect: Cops

Britney Ujlaky was last seen at about 4:30 p.m. on March 8, getting into a green Ford F-150 pickup truck in front of her high school, her rodeo friend Bryce Dickey told Elko County, Nevada, deputies, according to the Daily Beast. And after deputies found her body three days later, the 18-year-old Ujlaky called her “big brother” mourned his friend on Facebook:

She “was taken far too soon,” he wrote on March 13, tagging over a dozen other friends. “That day I had tears of pain and joy. I wish she could have seen the amount of us that came together to honor you sis. We love you so much. Just know you won’t ever be forgotten.”

But a week after that post, Dickey was in jail, charged with the murder of 16-year-old who dreamed some day of being Rodeo Queen.

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Bryce Dickey/Elko County Sheriff’s Office

It turns out, there was no green Ford pickup truck with an unknown man wearing a cowboy hat driving it. Dickey had made it up, the Daily Beast said.

“There’s no worse betrayal than this,” James Ujlaky, Britney’s father, told The Daily Beast, “because she really thought he was a good friend.”

Police have not detailed how Britney was killed but said detectives were still actively investigation. The Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body, according to the Elko Daily Free Press.

When Britney was born, they named her Gabrielle Lynn Ujlaky, but when they brought her home, they called her Britney, saying the name seemed to fit better. Her friends said she was kind, thoughtful, and straightforward — and always the first one to saddle up.

Dickey told police that he had given Britney a ride that Sunday to the high school, where she hopped in the pickup truck, the Daily Beast reported. He helped search for her. He mourned when her body was found more than six miles from Spring Creek High School, in an area called Burner Basin on March 11. And none of it was true, police say.

“It crushes me,” Britney’s friend Cheyenne Fry told The Daily Beast. “He acted like her friend, and she talked to me about him like he was her friend. She called him her big brother.”

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[Featured image: Britney Ujlaky/Facebook]