Tristyn Bailey stabbed to death, medical examiner says

Authorities say 14-year-old boy confessed to killing 13-year-old classmate
Tristyn Bailey stabbed to death
Posted at 3:51 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 15:56:57-04

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A 13-year-old Florida girl who was found dead Sunday near Jacksonville was stabbed to death, the medical examiner confirmed Tuesday.

Tristyn Bailey died of "sharp force trauma by stabbing," chief medical examiner Dr. Predrag Bulic determined, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

A 14-year-old classmate was arrested in connection with her death. He faces a charge of second-degree murder.

According to a newly released arrest report, the 14-year-old suspect's "story changed several times, but ultimately made several admissions."

WPTV is not identifying the suspect because of his age.

Surveillance video from the area showed Tristyn and the suspect walking together early Sunday, investigating Cpl. Kurt Hannon noted in the report. However, surveillance video from later in the morning showed the same suspect walking back alone and carrying a pair of Nike shoes.

Tristyn's body was found Sunday evening near a retention pond located less than a mile from the suspect's home. Her body "appeared to have significant injury to her head and other trauma."

During a search of the suspect's home, investigators found bloody clothing in his bedroom that matched the clothes seen in the surveillance video.

A motive for the killing has not been revealed.

"This is a grieving community, and we're going to respect that grieving community," Sheriff Robert Hardwick told reporters after the discovery was made.