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A juvenile suspect has been jailed on murder charges following the killing of a 13-year-old Oregon teen who was found dead in a stream near her home earlier this month, police said.
A teenage suspect was taken into police custody in connection with the murder of Milana Li, the Beaverton Police Department announced on Friday. The teen, who was identified as a 16-year-old male by the Oregonian, was charged with first-degree murder. He appeared in court on Friday.
The accused teen hasn't been formally named by Oxygen.com, which typically doesn't identify minor suspects. It’s unclear if the two teenagers knew each other before Li's murder. No further information was readily available from law enforcement this week.
“Due to juvenile confidentiality laws we are unable to disclose further details,” the Beaverton Police Department said in a press release on May 20.
Li was found dead in a small stream on May 9. She had vanished a day earlier from her apartment in the neighborhood of Murray Hill and her mother reported her missing, authorities said. The 13-year-old’s suspicious death was later ruled a homicide by investigators. Detectives combed through dozens of tips before making an arrest in the case late last week.
“The murder of Milana Li is deeply distressing for her family, friends and the entire community. Our hearts go out to Milana’s loved ones and everyone affected by her death,” Washington County said in a statement Friday.
No further information was immediately available. A spokesperson for the Beaverton Police Department didn't immediately respond to Oxygen.com's request for comment regarding the investigation on Tuesday.
The slain Oregon teenager was memorialized by her community at a funeral service on May 21.
“Tears are acceptable in this space," Pastor Dave Teixeira said, the Oregonian reported. “And so is laughter. What I know about Milana is that she would say yes to both, especially the latter.”
A GoFundMe campaign that was set up for the family to help cover funeral expenses had raised more than $45,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. The fundraising page described Li as a “beautiful young soul” and a “true friend who opened up her warm heart to everyone.”
“She was loved by so many,” Li’s uncle, Anton Li, also said at the teen’s life celebration.
Li was a sixth grade student at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton, school district officials confirmed. Many of the 13-year-old’s classmates also attended last weekend’s memorial services.
“First, I was kind of shocked because the news came kinda like all at once,” classmate Aurora Myers said, Portland television station KPTV reported. “Then the next day I went to school and the sadness kind of like hit me, it hit all of us.”
“She was a really nice and funny person,” sixth grade student Yara Aqooly also recalled. “If she was inside a room, she would just brighten up the whole room.”
Li’s alleged killer appeared in court on Friday, KGW reported. The 16-year-old, who didn’t speak during the hearing, hasn’t yet entered a plea. It’s unclear if the teenage suspect had secured legal counsel. He was remanded into custody.
The accused juvenile has a lengthy criminal history, including several charges for second-degree arson, second-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree theft, according to the Oregonian.
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