Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with the murder of 17-year-old Madison Sparrow, a Delaware teen who went missing in early October and was found dead in the woods days later. Sparrow was last seen Oct. 2 around 8:30 p.m. in Newark when she left to run errands with a friend, according to Delaware State Police. It was soon discovered that before her death, Sparrow had gone to see her ex-boyfriend who, along with a classmate of hers, allegedly lured her into the woods, ambushed her, and killed her.
Sparrow was found in the woods behind Maclary Elementary School where police also found a metal baseball bat, the apparent object police believe to be used to beat her to death. Investigators also found droplets of blood and the clothes Sparrow had been wearing when she left her house.
She suffered blunt forced trauma to the head, which police say was caused by the bat.
Noah M. Sharp, the victim's ex-boyfriend, admitted to the crime and was taken into police custody three days after Sparrow went missing, according to Delaware Online. He is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and conspiracy in the first degree, according to the indictment. He is being held at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on $1,021,000 bail.
Annika Stalczynski, a second suspect in her murder, was only recently arrested on Monday. She is facing the same charges and is being held in a juvenile detention center also on $1 million cash bail.
"There have been so many times over the years that you think, 'This is as tragic as I'll ever see,' and then another terrible crime occurs," Attorney General Kathy Jennings said Tuesday. "This is the worst kind, where a child has been taken from a mother and father."
Sharp told police that he killed his ex-girlfriend, according to the outlet. He also allegedly confessed to taking her dead body to the "wooded area" near Route 896 and Interstate 95 – where police eventually found her.
The suspects did not explain a motive for the killing but police said the pair had planned it, the outlet reported. The relationship between the suspects remains unclear.
State Prosecutor A.J. Roop said Stalczynski and Sparrow were classmates and had "known each other for some time."
At a vigil for the teenager, Richard Prestidge, Sparrow's father said his daughter was "wise beyond her years."
"As we get older, I think we all have to reflect and stop and pause, and she did that."
Neither defendant has entered a plea.