The 14-year-old boy accused of murdering a 6-year-old girl in Indiana told police that a "shadowy man" controlled him, which is why he strangled the girl.
Grace Ross was reported missing last month on March 12 at approximately 6:30 p.m in Chapman Drive in New Carlisle. Two hours later, the little girl's body was found in a wooded area, and an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was asphyxiation.
A 14-year-old boy was taken into custody by the County Metro Homicide Unit on the same day. After Ross' body was found, a woman brought her son forward to police, who was later identified as the suspect, and he was interviewed, according to the South Bend Tribune.
The boy, who has not been named, told investigators that Ross followed him into the woods, but he initially lost track of her. He then said that a "shadowy man" made him strangle the girl and that he knew she was dead because he felt her spirit leave her body and checked for a pulse.
He then reportedly left the woods and went back to his apartment, where he changed clothes and took a shower, but investigators saw blood on his hands, according to the outlet.
After speaking to authorities, the boy was transported to and detained at the Juvenile Justice Center. According to ABC57, the boy is facing a delinquency petition on charges that would be murder and child molestation if presented in adult court. There are two counts of murder and one count of molestation.
"I know what he did was vicious and horrible. I guess at that age I hope for rehabilitation," a neighbor told ABC57.
"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," another neighbor, Wendell Chitwood, said.
The boy's attorneys requested that the case remained sealed but a judge ruled on Wednesday, April 21, that some of the details and court proceedings would be made public.
It is not known if Ross and the boy knew each other prior to her death.
Last month a fundraiser set up by Ross' aunt raised $29,611 to help cover the funeral expenses. "Everyone has been amazing. The outpouring of support from the community has been a major blessing. Thank you," an update from March 15 read.