DENVER | A 16-year-old girl is being investigated in the death of a 7-year-old boy who was reported missing in Denver on Monday, authorities said.
Police found the body of Jordan Vong hidden in his family’s home Tuesday and took the teenage girl into custody for investigation of first-degree murder. Joe Montoya, division chief of investigations, said Wednesday that the coroner’s office will determine a cause and manner of death, and the district attorney’s office will decide if charges should be filed.
He declined to release the girl’s relationship to Jordan or any other details about her because she is a minor.
Police scoured the boy’s neighborhood on the eastern edge of the city and went through the home twice Monday before securing a warrant for a more thorough search, which turned up the body.
“It was intentionally concealed, and it took some time to find it,” said Montoya, who declined to say where the body was located, what condition it was in or how the boy died.
Jordan’s family called police Monday after he had been missing for a few hours. Officers searched a 20-block radius around the home, and a helicopter crew scanned open space and ponds in the area.
Montoya said Wednesday that some investigators had worked 48 hours straight on the case.
“The emotional drain is very intense,” he said. “I felt it myself, and I know the investigators felt it.”
Montoya, who described the family as “cooperative to a point,” declined to say if investigators are looking for additional suspects.
KCNC-TV in Denver reported that Jordan’s mother attended a vigil at her son’s elementary school Wednesday night. She thanked the community for helping in the search and asked for prayers, saying through tears that her son is “in a better place.”
Jordan’s former teacher, one of more than 200 people who gathered at Marie L. Greenwood Academy, said the boy’s smile spread joy.
“Seeing him happy made me happy,” said Desirae Chamberlin. “His little giggle was contagious … He was sweet. He would pick me dandelions.”