The Bedford Police Department said it is using every resource possible to find out what happened to a missing 14-year-old girl whose body was found in an Arlington landfill.
Police Chief Jeff Gibson addressed the media Friday and first offered his condolences to Kaitlynn Cargill’s grieving family.
Kaitlynn disappeared on Monday about 6:20 p.m. after leaving her apartment on Oak Creek Lane to walk her dog. Police said her parents looked for her for about 30 minutes and then reported her missing an hour and a half later.
Chief Gibson said Kaitlynn’s information was immediately entered into a local and national database for missing children. But at that point officers had no information that led them to believe she was abducted or kidnapped.
In fact, the chief said Kaitlynn’s stepfather suggested she might be at a friend’s house and her mother gave officers the name of a friend that she might be with.
“I realize this community has several questions as to why the Bedford Police Department did not issue activate an Amber Alert on June 19. The simple answer is there are specific criteria that law enforcement personnel have to follow in terms of initiating an Amber Alert,” Gibson said.
The chief said he believes his officers did everything they could have possibly done to find the teen Monday night.
“There is nothing that we could have differently. Our staff has worked tirelessly on this case, night and day,” he said.
With so many unanswered questions, neighbors at the apartment complex are on edge. Residents where Kaytlynn lived came home to find security notices on their doors that reminded them to be as careful as possible and especially cautious.
"Looking out for your neighbors, calling if you see something suspicious — simple reminders like that,” said resident Roni Melton.
Kaitlynn’s body was found Wednesday afternoon in an Arlington landfill. Bedford Police Chief Jeff Gibson tried to calm fears, saying in a news conference there is no continuing risk to the community.
"We are working diligently and tirelessly on a resolution to this senseless loss,” he said.
But the police chief could not say for certain whether this was a homicide, whether it was someone the girl knew or something random. So far, the medical examiner has not told police if there were any obvious signs of trauma to the body and is waiting on toxicology tests to determine the cause of death. It’s a process that could take weeks.
There's also the question of 'who' could have done this. When asked about neighbors who feel unsafe, the chief said there is “absolutely nothing that points to a risk to the community in terms of further danger.” He said there is no indication that there is a repeat offender or child predator on the loose.
"There is not a suspect or person of interest,” Gibson said. "We are in fact following every lead that comes in, and we're investigating everything that we currently have right now. But we don't have a singular suspect."
Police have set up an email tip line. You can contact them HERE