Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Abbiegail Smith, 11, found dead behind apartment days after reported missing

Abbiegail Smith, 11, found dead behind apartment days after reported missing

A teenage neighbor of an 11-year-old New Jersey girl whose body was found near her home has been arrested and charged with her murder, authorities announced Friday, CBS New York reports.

Police found her body near the apartment building Thursday morning.

Police working with K-9 units discovered Abbie's remains in the backyard behind the low-rise apartments near a large container about 10:45 a.m. Thursday, WABC-TV reported.

The girl was last seen in her apartment Wednesday night and was reported missing by her mother about an hour later.

The dad said Smith was born in Jamaica in 2005, then moved to the US a few years later with her mom.

Andreas Erazo, 18, faces first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of Abbiegail Smith, the Monmouth County prosecutor's office said.

"You killed my daughter!"

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Kenroy Smith left a similarly distraught message on Facebook, in an occasionally profane post after Erazo was taken into custody on suspicion of killing the 11-year-old at the two-story Hancock Arms Apartments in Keansburg.

The bubbly and friendly preteen reportedly came from a strict household, where her protective mother wanted her in eyesight at all times.

One of Smith's neighbors told NJ.com that the family moved into the apartment complex about three or four months ago. The Judge ordered Erazo held without bail and set a follow-up hearing for Wednesday. "They all are, but especially when it involves a child", Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said outside the courtroom Friday.

A motive for the apparent homicide is not yet known, and a medical examiner is performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

"I spoke to the loved ones of AbbieGail Smith", said Gramiccioni.

Abbie was a student at Bolger Middle School, where she was remembered as a "wonderful young girl", Keansburg School District's superintendent, John Niesz, said in a letter. "(What) they want out of this is justice.

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