Mystery surrounds death of 14-year-old Bedford girl

BEDFORD, TEXAS - There are few answers as police and the public question how a Bedford teen ended up dead in an Arlington landfill after she was reported missing Monday night. 

Thursday, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner identified the deceased as Kaytlynn Cargill. The following day, Bedford police Chief Jeff Gibson addressed the timeline from when Cargill disappeared to when her body was Wednesday.

According to Gibson, officers were called to the Cargill residence at about 8:15 p.m. Monday at the Oak Creek Apartments in southern Bedford. Upon their arrival, family members reported that the teen left their home to walk their dog but never returned.

Gibson said officers created a missing report for the teen and entered her name into a local and national database as a missing child, but an Amber Alert was not issued.

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"At this point, no information led us to believe that Kaytlynn had been abducted or kidnapped," he said. 

The chief said throughout the night, officers followed leads given by Kaytlynn's family members that the teen may be with friends. However, he said those leads proved to be dead-ends. 

The next day, authorities searched the complex and surrounding areas. That afternoon, police issued a missing child alert, which sends an automatic phone call to Bedford residents, and posted bulletins onto their social media sites. 

Gibson also addressed community concerns as to why police didn't activate an Amber Alert.

"The simple answer is there's specific criteria that law enforcement personnel have to follow in terms of initiating an Amber Alert," he said.

In the case of a Texas Amber Alert, authorities must have sufficient evidence that proves a child was abducted before an alert can be issued.

"There was nothing we could've done differently," Gibson said of the department's work on the missing teen's case. "Our staff worked tirelessly on this case."

As police continued their search for the teen, authorities received a call from Arlington police Wednesday afternoon reporting that a body was found by an employee in a landfill located about five miles from Cargill's house. The next day, the body was identified as Kaytlynn, but a cause of death has yet to be determined. 

"We will pursue every lead, leave no stone unturned and bring the person or persons responsible for Kaytlynn's death to justice," said Lt. Kirk Roberts

During their search for the teen, police canvassed the teen's neighborhood and flyers were posted around the town. According to the flyers, a friend said she saw Kaytlynn tie her dog's leash to a fence and asked friends to watch the dog but never returned.

"I didn’t hear any yells, and it happened right behind my balcony," said neighbor Zach McDaniel. "I heard no yells, no helps, no nothing."

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Initially, police said there was no reason to suspect foul play in the disappearance. There also was no issuance of an Amber Alert, although very strict conditions must exist for that to happen, according to state law.

Thursday night, more than 100 friends and classmates gathered at Central Junior High, where she was a seventh grader. Friends say she was a vibrant young teen that loved band. 

A GoFundMe donation page has been set up for the family. 

Authorities have asked anyone with information pertaining to the death of Cargill to call the Bedford Police Department at 817-952-2440 or contact the Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS. 

Police said they were increasing patrols in and around the girl's Oak Creek Apartments. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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