NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WBEN) - Niagara Falls police have charged two teenagers in connection with the death of a 5-year-old girl who was staying at her great grandmother's home.
Police say John Freeman, 16, of 422 Sixth St. in Niagara Falls, is charged with second degree murder in the death of Isabella Tennant. Investigators believe Freeman killed the child with his bare hands.
Police say the family described Freeman as a "close" and "trusted" friend.
The second suspect, Tyler Best, 19, listed a Buffalo address of 193 Banard St., but has been staying with Freeman for the past year, according to police. Best is charged with a felony count of evidence tampering.
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Police got word about the missing child early this morning. As the morning wore on, police say Best came to headquarters with information regarding the child's whereabouts.
Police on Monday say Isabella Tennant was found dead inside a garbage can behind 531 Third St. in Niagara Falls.
In their investigation, police say that Freeman didn't use any weapons to kill the child. Investigators believe Best was only involved after the child died and he helped with moving her remains.
Police say the suspects placed the victim into a trash bag and put her in a garbage can. They then moved the garbage can to the location where police found her on Third Street.
The child, who police believe is from the Cheektowaga area, was staying with her great grandmother on Sunday night.
The girl was reported missing by family members around 6 a.m. Monday.
An autopsy on the child's body is set for Tuesday morning at the Erie County Medical Examiner's office.