Canton, Ga. – On Thursday evening, disturbing details regarding the brutal death of seven-year-old Jorelys Rivera were revealed on Jane Velez-Mitchell’s HLN show.
Jim Moret from ‘Inside Edition’ filled in for Velez-Mitchell and spoke to HLN Law Enforcement Analyst Mike Brooks, who was on location at the apartment complex where authorities believe Jorelys was abducted and killed.
Jorelys was last seen around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 at the River Ridge apartment complex in Canton where she lived. She was at the playground with her teenage babysitter and had gone back to her apartment alone to retrieve refreshments for her friends when she vanished, according to authorities. Her battered body was found in the complex trash compactor on Dec. 5.
Authorities announced that Jorelys’ injuries were so severe that they couldn’t be described. Law enforcement would only say that she was sexually assaulted, beaten in the head and stabbed, calling her death a “very horrific and brutal murder.”
Brooks noted that a source close to the investigation divulged information regarding the condition Jorelys’ body was in when it was found.
“…we had heard that she had been beaten, she had been stabbed and sexually assaulted, but we’ve also found out from a source close to the investigation that when they found her body in that trash compactor, that her hands and her feet were tied with tie wraps, and she had… duct tape place across her mouth, and that she had been compacted inside that trash compactor, just right across the street from Ryan Brunn’s apartment,” Brooks said.
Brunn, 20, was arrested Wednesday on charges of false statements and murder in connection with Jorelys death. He works and lives at the same apartment building as a maintenance man for the complex.
Moret then asked Brooks, “…is there any indication that she was dead when she was in that compactor? Because as a parent, you know, it’s just so difficult to even think about this case, but the one thing that keeps haunting me is was she alive when she was placed into that dumpster?”
Brooks replied, “Well, they believe that she was dead within 90 minutes of her being kidnapped. So, you know, hopefully this poor girl… she suffered so much, but they believe that she most likely was dead when she was placed in that trash compactor.”
He continued, “…one of the things I asked yesterday, after they announced his arrest, I asked if Ryan Brunn, since he was a maintenance person there at the complex, if he had keys to that compactor. Because only maintenance people have keys to turn that compactor on, to push the trash into that trash compactor. And Vernon Keenan, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said that, yes, Ryan Brunn did have keys to that trash compactor.”
Brooks concluded, “…if you look at the whole scene, she was in one building. The vacant apartment was right next door, and then right around the corner was that trash compactor. Then within a stone’s throw was his [Brunn’s] apartment on the third floor of the 1200 building. He could come right down to the end of his hallway, look out, and look right on the trash compactor. Just makes you sick”
A viewing for Jorelys was held at the Darby Funeral Home in Canton Friday night and on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., Jorelys funeral will take place at the First Baptist Church of Canton.
According to 11 Alive News, Jorelys will be buried in Puerto Rico.
Jorelys mother’s employer, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has set up a Jorelys Rivera Memorial Fund to assist the family, Margaret McDonald, a company representative told local media. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can contact the United Community Bank in Canton at 770-479-6700.
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