Town on alert after girl stabbed
Published 29/04/2013 | 20:16
Police patrols have been increased outside a school in a small Californian town where a search is continuing for a man suspected of stabbing an eight-year-old girl to death.
Deputies from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office were today deployed outside Jenny Lind Elementary School in Valley Springs, as classmates of victim Leila Fowler returned to school.
Grief counsellors were also available to pupils at the school, where ribbons were placed outside in tribute to the youngster.
Authorities say Leila was fatally stabbed at her home in Valley Springs on Saturday during an apparent break-in.
The girl was found by her older brother, believed to be aged 12, who told police he had encountered a male intruder in their home.
Authorities have issued a vague description of a suspect but have not been able to identify him.
They have told residents to lock their doors and keep a close eye on streets and gardens for the man.
The attacker is described only as wearing a black shirt and blue trousers. Investigators collected fingerprints and what they believe is DNA from the home. The results of lab tests are not yet known.
The station reported that a neighbour told police a man was seen running from the girl's home after the attack.
Valley Springs is a community of about 2,500 people in an unincorporated area of Calaveras County, known as "Gold Country", in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, about 60 miles south-east of Sacramento.