A New Jersey man has been charged with first-degree murder after the body of an 11-year-old girl who lived downstairs from him was found behind their apartment complex the morning after she was reported missing, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Andreas Erazo, 18, is facing a first-degree murder charge and two other weapons charges in connection with the death of Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith, who was found dead last Thursday morning, according to the press release. Multiple outlets report Abbie was stabbed to death.
At his initial court appearance on Friday, Abbie’s mother confronted Erazo, reports CBS News.
“You killed my daughter!” she yelled at Erazo, according to CBS. “I hope you rot in jail. My one and only daughter. You look away from me. You need to rot in jail!”
According to the press release, police responded at about 9:24 p.m. Wednesday to a report from Abbie’s residence that she was missing. Police immediately launched a missing person investigation.
At about 10:20 a.m. Thursday, detectives discovered Abbie’s deceased body wrapped up in a blanket behind the apartment complex, the press release states.
The details of what occurred between Abbie’s disappearance and the discovery of her body are unclear, and the investigation is ongoing.
‘A Lovely, Lovely Little Girl’
People who knew Abbie spoke highly of the 11-year-old, according to CBS New York.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told CBS New York that “by all accounts from her family and people in that tight-knit community, she was a lovely, lovely little girl.”
Abbie’s schoolmate Shaft Page told CBS New York that Abbie was a “kind girl.”
“If she had something, she’d give it to you,” Page told CBS New York.
Gramiccioni said at a press conference Friday that Abbie’s family and friends do not wish to speak to the media right now.
“They did ask me to convey to the public and the media that what they want out of this is justice, and it’s my job and my staff’s job to do the best at delivering that for them,” Gramiccioni told reporters.
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NJ.com reports that a close friend of Erazo, Bobbie Burdick, said Erazo “literally had demons he was fighting.”
Burdick told NJ.com that Erazo became “another person” when he was angry and that he frequently threw objects at walls when upset. She said that he often threatened her, but never acted on those threats.
CBS News reports that Erazo has no prior criminal record.
At his initial court appearance Friday, Erazo was ordered held without bail until a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Erazo is represented by Emeka Nkwuo of Freehold, New Jersey, who was unavailable for comment.