An Alabama man accused of strangling an 11-year-old girl pretended to help in the search for the young girl, telling investigators he had already searched his property and it was "good.”
Hours later on the morning of March 2, investigators would find the body of Amberly Barnett in an area behind Christopher Madison’s mobile home, with a blue rope tied around her neck, according to AL.com.
Chief investigator David Davis of the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office outlined the case against Madison, who has been charged with capital murder, in a probable cause hearing Monday.
Davis testified that behind Madison’s house they found a trail of evidence, including a shovel, sock, machete, blonde hair similar to the missing girl’s hanging on a tree and drag marks that ultimately lead them to her body, local station WAFF reports.
Investigators also discovered a bloodied pair of jeans in the dryer at Madison’s home and blood on the bathroom sink, walls, mattress and bedframe.
Barnett, who had been staying with her aunt, disappeared the evening of March 1 after her aunt and aunt’s boyfriend had gone to the store. Barnett’s aunt lived next door to Madison and his girlfriend. As soon as the family returned home and discovered her missing, they contacted authorities.
Madison allegedly told investigators he had searched his property for the 11-year-old and that “it’s good.” He also told deputies he saw a dark Dodge Durango pull into the driveway of her home the night she disappeared, but no other neighbors were able to confirm that the truck had been in the area.
Although the motive for the killing wasn’t discussed, Davis did testify that Madison had an “interest of bondage.” They discovered a clamp and bolt in the floor of his mobile home that had allegedly been used in the past for bondage activities.
Davis also testified that Madison’s girlfriend told authorities that a blue rope matching the description of the one found around Barnett’s neck had been in their home the day before. Investigators also found another piece of blue rope wrapped around a knife in Madison’s yard. He later allegedly told authorities that the knife was his, the local news organization reports.
After hearing the testimony, a judge ruled prosecutors have enough probable cause in the case and sent it to a grand jury.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.