1 year later: Elizabeth Olten's death not forgotten
Thu, 21 Oct 2010 19:43:46 GMT —
It was a crime that devastated the local community while drawing a national spotlight to the heart of Missouri.
It unfolded around dinner time on Oct. 21, 2009; a call came in from a family desperately looking for a missing child. By the following day, a full scale manhunt was underway for 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten.
"What we're endeavoring to do is find a young lady very much alive and reunite here with her family, Cole County Sheriff Greg White said on Oct. 22.
Hundreds of volunteers turned out in the rain that Thursday to help in the search
By this point, family clearly was frantic, already fearing the worst.
"She does not deserve this, Elizabeth TMs Aunt Vicki Olten said on Oct. 22, 2009. Her family does not deserve this.
By Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, investigators had already been pointed in direction of a suspect in Elizabeth TMs disappearance. That evening, the suspect had lead them to Elizabeth TMs body in a hand-dug grave in the woods near her home.
The suspect was Elizabeth TMs 15-year-old neighbor Alyssa Bustamante.
A month later, Bustamante was certified to stand trial as an adult for first degree murder.
The past year has been marked by a series of court hearings over matters ranging from Bustamante's ability to appear in court in street clothes to her constitutional rights to an education behind bars.
At every step, Elizabeth Olten's family has fought to make sure the victim is not forgotten.
"I would hope that the public will remember Elizabeth for who she was, and not remember her for the crime that was committed upon her, Cole County Juvenile Court Attorney Samantha Green said.
See the timeline of events below: