updated July 13. 2009 8:00PM
VIDEO: Teen charged with murder in Charles City child’s death
Officials in Charles City have charged a 14-year-old with first-degree murder in the death of a 3-year-old girl.
Krystel Banes died on Friday. A 911 caller said the girl had fallen and was not responding. As a result of that investigation, authorities on Monday charged 14-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse.
Officials say Banes died as a result of as asphyxia, meaning the killer would have had to do something to cut Krystel's air supply, and ruled the death a homicide.
Charles City police chief Mike Wendel said in a news conference Monday that Concepcion Jr. is charged in juvenile court.
Concepcion was supposed to appear in Floyd County Court Monday morning, but waived his right to challenge detention.
"At the time of the hearing, he, through his attorney, admitted that there was probable cause that he committed a public offense and as such waived a formal hearing on the issue," Floyd County Attorney Jesse Marzen said.
B.J. Franklin, a victim advocate for the Horizons Survivor's Program, is serving as a spokesperson for the Banes family.
"There are a lot of different parties that become involved in these families lives following a homicide but we want to try to help them through that process," Franklin said.
She says the Banes family continues to grieve. "They're doing the absolutely best that they possibly can given this extremely difficult situation," she said.
Franklin said the family has asked for privacy at this time, but that they are putting together a memorial service for Krystel.
A KCRG-TV9 news crew in Charles City spoke to Krystel Banes' parents Sunday afternoon. They were distraught and did not want to go on camera. They say Krystel was a wonderful little girl who loved to play and have fun.
Authorities say someone called 911 on Friday to report the girl had fallen at a home at 406 South Johnson Street. Neighbors tell TV9 the family that lives at the home was babysitting Krystel.
Neighbors say the little girl was a relative and it was common to see her there, playing with other children including Concepcion. "Yeah, he'd interact like a normal brother would as far as I'd seen when they were outside. He'd play with them, throw the ball to them," said neighbor Kim Brady.
Brady has lived next to the family for more than a year. She said it's a big family and they mostly kept to themselves, but did play outside a lot.
A court hearing scheduled for July 29 will determine if Concepcion Jr. will stand trial as an adult. He remains in custody at a juvenile detention center.