By Melissa Garcia
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– The death of a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in a ravine was not accidental, according to the Adams County Coroner’s Office. Thornton police said her death is being investigated as a homicide.
Authorities confirmed the deceased girl’s identity as Kiaya Campbell of Montbello.
Campbell went missing around nightfall Wednesday. According to police, the girl had left her father’s home on Forest Drive, walking in the direction of a shopping center about 12 blocks away. She was with the 15-year-old son of her dad’s girlfriend. The two were allegedly separated in a rainstorm.
Police were alerted to the missing child case just before midnight.
A resident discovered her body about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the grassy ravine area behind his home near Jasmine Court and Monaco Way, about a mile-and-a-half from her dad’s house.
Police taped off an extended search area Friday to search for evidence.
Strangers in mourning stopped by throughout the day, leaving flowers and teddy bears in support of Kiaya’s family.
“I can’t imagine what they are going through, how hard it can be for them to lose someone they love,” said Stacie Russell, fighting back tears.
“That little girl is gone and lost,” said Tiffany Duvall, a heartbroken mother. “And we need to let them do their thing and just mourn and support the family.”
Other mourners left flowers near the home of Kiaya’s dad.
“Rest in peace,” Duvall said. “We will figure out what happened, and we will support this family as long as we can.”
CBS4’s Melissa Garcia sent a message and placed a call to Kiaya’s mother who lives in Montbello, but did not immediately hear back from her. Knocks at the Thornton home of Kiaya’s father and his girlfriend went unanswered.
Police said that as of yet, no one was being detained and no one was in custody.