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Emma Roark's Family Releases Statement After Killing And Suspect's Arrest

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — The family of Emma Roark have released a statement regarding their daughter, who was found dead along the American River after being missing for four days.

Roark's body was found in a tent on the El Manto access point on the American River Parkway. She had been reported missing on January 27. A homeless man identified as Mikilo Rawls, 37, is accused of murdering her.

The family also released a new photo of Roark, 20, that her father, Gabriel Roark, says shows her easy-going, animal-loving personality.

The family's statement said:

"We, Emma's family, have been in deep turmoil these last three weeks. We are struggling to come to grips with the monstrously cruel murder of our beloved Emma and face the inconceivable task of forging some kind of life anew without her. As to the news that law enforcement has apprehended a suspect in Emma's death and the DA is pursuing a capital case against the accused, we are most grateful for the thorough investigation of Emma's death. The homicide detectives in the case showed Emma's mother and me a great deal of compassion as well. We are confident that due process will bring justice for Emma."

Rawls has been charged with murder, kidnap, rape, sodomy, and an allegation that Roark was bound or tied during the assault. With the charges, the DA's office says the proceedings will now be a capital case.

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