Prosecutor's office releases details in murder of Grace Ross
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has released details from the police reports into the homicide of 6-year-old Grace Ross in March.
A 14-year-old boy is facing a delinquency petition on charges that would be murder and child molestation if presented in adult court. Although his name has been released with the documents, ABC57 is choosing not to name the suspect because his case remains in juvenile court.
"I know what he did was vicious and horrible. I guess at that age I hope for rehabilitation," said a neighbor.
“It’s unbelievable what the parents must be going through. Both - parents of both the victim and the and the person who did the horrible deed," said neighbor Wendell Chitwood.
The document is a summary of the interview with the suspect that is part of the paperwork filed in court to support charges against him, similar to how a supplemental affidavit is filed in support of a probable cause affidavit in adult court.
Prosecutors had asked the magistrate to rule on the appropriateness of the release of the summary police report. The magistrate found no authority that would prevent the state from releasing the document.
In a press release the prosecutor's office said the public has an interest in the case and decided to release the information.
The court document says the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit was alerted to the discovery of a 6-year-old girl's body in New Carlisle around 8 p.m. on March 12.
After Ross' body was found, a woman took the suspect to investigators and said he had seen the girl in the woods.
The 14-year-old was interviewed by investigators.
The teen said Ross had followed him into the woods and he wandered around and lost track of her.
He told investigators a shadow man had controlled his hands and made him strangle Ross, reports said.
He said he felt her soul/spirit leave her body, then checked to make sure she was dead, reports said.
The suspect ran to his apartment and washed blood off his hands, then took a shower, reports said.
The juvenile did not explain why Ross was naked.
“Absolutely should be tried as an adult unless of course there’s some sort of mental illness there then he should be treated for that instead," said Chitwood.
The juvenile is awaiting psychological evaluation test results which will be included in the decision process for whether or not he'll be tried as an adult.
“It was so shocking. So dramatic. So awful, awful, awful. I don’t really know how you bounce back other than conversations and being there for one another," said a neighbor.