Suspect Will Be Tried As An Adult
SANTA CRUZ—The Santa Cruz Police Department arrested 15-year-old Adrian Jerry Gonzales in the homicide investigation into the death of 8-year-old juvenile Madyson Middleton who was reported missing on Sunday evening at the Tannery Arts Center apartment complex on River Street where she lived.
Santa Cruz Police found Madyson’s body in a large dumpster-size recycle bin on the ground floor of the apartment complex. Police stated that the suspect, Adrian Gonzales, was actually standing near the dumpsters when they found her body. It seemed that Gonzales went through some great lengths to conceal Madyson’s body.
Police theorized that the two were friendly acquaintances due to the fact that they lived in the same apartment complex. Evidence suggests that Madyson was lured into Gonzalez’s family apartment and went willingly. It appears that Gonzales killed Madyson in the apartment, and eventually carried her body downstairs to the dumpster.
There is also evidence that suggest that Madyson was killed prior to the initial call to police to report her missing. Police took Gonzales into custody after finding her body, and interviewed him into the early morning hours.
“Our Detectives have located evidence that links Gonzales to this horrific crime” Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said. “Evidence includes Madyson’s belongings in the apartment, witness statements, and video evidence.”
Police have determined that Gonzales acted alone, and he is in custody at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Detention Center. They are waiting autopsy results, and the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s office has determined that he will be tried as an adult. District Attorney spokesman Paul Mangasarian has said that his formal arraignment has been postponed until September to allow time for the defense to prepare their case.
Update 9/21/15 – District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell announced today that Adrian Gonzalez has entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court. He remains in custody awaiting his preliminary hearing on October 29 at 8:15 am.