Maryland State Police charged a man with murder and rape Thursday in the death of a 10-year-old Cecil County girl.
Authorities said Richard E. Madden Jr., who was taken into custody Tuesday on drug charges and described as a person of interest in the case, was arrested Thursday and charged in the death of Kami Ring.
Authorities said biological evidence linked Madden, 29, to the killing. Police said Ring died of blunt force trauma and asphyxia.
The girl’s body was found Monday evening in a heavily overgrown field across the street from a Port Deposit home where she’d been staying with a couple whom she considered her grandparents, even though they were not biologically related to the child. Madden is the couple’s son.
Authorities said Madden is charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault and first-degree rape. Police said they were still uncertain about a motive for the killing. It wasn’t immediately clear if Madden has a lawyer.
The girl’s mother, Sacha T. Ring, said Tuesday that she was awaiting further information from authorities but was told then that Madden had been taken into custody.
Ring’s husband, Richard Dean, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the couple was relieved that Madden had been charged in Kami’s death.
“For the most part, we have closure that we know we have the right person,” said Dean, adding that a detective planned to meet with him and his wife on Friday.
State troopers were called to the Port Deposit home on Monday morning after the girl, who was last seen Sunday night, was reported missing. The body was found about 6:20 p.m. Monday about 60 yards from the home.
Madden’s mother, Cindy Clark, told the AP on Tuesday that she didn’t know what happened.
Dean said Tuesday that Kami and her 9-year-old brother spent Saturday night at Clark’s house, then went to a carnival in Havre De Grace on Sunday. After returning to her Charlestown home, Kami asked her parents if she could spend the week at Clark’s house, Dean said.
“She packed up and took her clothes and that’s the last we saw her,” he said.
Dean said an investigator from Baltimore met with him and Ring on Tuesday and asked them to identify photographs of shoes and pants as belonging to Kami, which they did. He also confirmed that a window in the room where the girl was staying was open several inches and that a window screen was found on the ground below it.
“She had four bobblehead dolls on the window sill, they were still intact,” he said. “They were still on the window sill.”
“I know my daughter,” he added. “She would have never went outside without asking somebody.”
Kami’s death marks the second time that a child of Ring’s has died.
In 1994, while living in Oregon, Ring was convicted of criminal mistreatment and criminally negligent homicide in the death of her 8-month-old son. According to testimony at her trial, she and another person delayed calling 911 for up to 20 minutes after the infant was found unconscious. She served two years in prison. The other person pleaded no contest to lesser charges of criminal mistreatment and assault.
Ring said Tuesday she loved her son “more than anything” but declined to answer questions Tuesday about the Oregon case.