VERNAL - Police ended an intensive five-day search Friday for a 6-year-old girl who has been missing since Aug. 7, with the arrest of a 16-year-old male who then led authorities to her body.
Veronica Fitzen was found in the remote Little Brush Creek area approximately 25 miles north of Vernal. She had been placed inside a pillowcase.Police Chief Robert T. Downard said the boy had been charged with first-degree felony murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault - all first-degree felonies. The teenager was not identified because of his juvenile status, but he could be certified to stand trial as an adult. Capitol murder is punishable by death.
Downard said the boy was a friend of the family. "He just struck up a conversation with the child, and she went with him willingly."
Vernal police, who theorize Veronica was strangled, are sending her body to the state medical examiner's Office in Salt Lake City.