Kayleah Wilson Search Ends in Rain-Filled Ditch

Kayleah Wilson (Personal Photo)
Kayleah Wilson
Kayleah Wilson (Personal Photo)

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS/AP) The worst has now come for the family of 12-year-old Kayleah Wilson.

Their little girl, missing since March, has now been confirmed as the decomposed body found in a rain filled ditch in Greeley, about 60 miles northeast of Denver.

"She loved to laugh. She had a really great personality. She's going to be missed," family friend Cindy Rogers said.

PICTURES: Kayleah Wilson

The ditch where Kayleah's body was found is about a half-mile from the sixth-grader's home. A worker checking the ditch after heavy rain found the body in about 3 feet of water, Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said. The decomposed body had been there "for some time" said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner.

Kayleah disappeared March 28 while walking to a friend's house for a birthday party. At first, authorities did not know if she ran away or was abducted. An Amber Alert was not issued.

But soon it was clear that foul play was at hand and Greeley residents and the FBI frantically searched for her. Authorities said they pursued more than 300 leads and knocked on the doors of about 1,000 homes.

Now her death has been ruled a homicide and the search for the little girl has turned into the search for her killer.

"The investigation has really turned a corner with the discovery of this body," Sgt. Tymkowych said.

Tymkowych said police are looking at a range of individuals who had the time and opportunity to kill Kayleah and don't have good alibis.

"We don't give up on cases like this," Chief Garner said.