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Santa Cruz Teen Murder Suspect Makes First Court Appearance

SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) -- A 15-year-old boy accused of raping and murdering an 8-year-old girl in Santa Cruz on Sunday made his first court appearance Thursday morning, according to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office.

Adrian Jerry Gonzalez appeared at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse in Santa Cruz Thursday morning to face charges of killing Madyson "Maddy" Middleton. He did not enter a plea and his arraignment was continued to Sept. 21, prosecutors said.

Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell and Assistant District Attorney Rafael Vazquez are prosecuting the case, according to the district attorney's office.

Gonzalez was charged with one felony count each of murder, kidnapping to commit another crime, sexual penetration by a foreign object, forcible lewd act upon a child, forcible rape of a child under 14 years old and forcible lewd act upon a child, according to a complaint filed in court Wednesday.

The charges also include special allegations of murder by lying in wait, great bodily injury and other sex crimes, according to the complaint.

Larry Biggam of the county public defender's office is representing Gonzalez and did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday morning.

Gonzalez allegedly killed Maddy on Sunday at his family's apartment at the Tannery Arts Center at 1030 River St., police said.

Maddy was last seen shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday riding her Razor scooter outside around the housing complex at the center's campus and was reported missing at 6:08 p.m., according to police.

Officers searched for the girl with the help of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, FBI and other area agencies for the rest of Sunday and for most of Monday, police said.

A Santa Cruz police detective found Maddy's body concealed at the bottom of a large recycling bin in a first-floor parking garage at the housing complex shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, according to police.

Gonzalez lives in a unit above the garage and was taken in by police for questioning that lasted into early Tuesday morning, police said.

He was eventually arrested and booked into the county juvenile detention center, according to police.

Maddy also lived at the housing complex with her mother and was acquaintances with Gonzalez, police said.

Gonzalez allegedly lured Maddy to his apartment and the girl followed him out of her own will, according to police.

Police determined Gonzalez acted alone and suspect the girl was killed before she was reported missing, police said.

Gonzalez was slated to enter his sophomore year at Santa Cruz High School next month, according to Santa Cruz City Schools district officials.

Maddy was set to enter fourth grade at DeLeveaga Elementary School in Santa Cruz, school principal Jose Quevedo said.

She had started attending the school last year. Quevado said he made a point to welcome any new student to the campus.

Quevado described Maddy as a "happy-go-lucky" girl who always had a smile and easily made friends.

"I have nothing but the best memories of her. Beautiful girl, right attitude. She will be deeply, deeply missed," he said.

Counseling services provided by the county will be available at both schools today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., district officials said.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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