An Illinois man was arrested for the sexual assault and murder of a little girl who disappeared from her front porch while waiting to go to church, authorities said.
Sabrina Stauffenberg, 8, was last heard from Wednesday when she called her grandmother to say that the bus that she took to church was late, according to reports.
Her grandmother called the church and then tried to call Sabrina back, but her granddaughter didn’t answer, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.
The child’s body was found hours later body behind a vinegar plant on the south side of Olney by tracing the signal from her cell phone, officials said.
Illinois State Police on Sunday arrested Glen Ramey, 53, for first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault in Sabrina’s killing.
He was being held at the Richland County Jail pending formal arraignment, officials said. Bond is yet to be set, online records show.
Mourners took to a GoFundMe page created to offset funeral expenses for Sabrina, posting their condolences to the child’s devastated loved ones. By Monday, the page had surpassed its $6,000 goal by $510.
“I really cannot put my feelings into words out of respect for this beautiful little girl's family. I will be lifting her life up to my Lord Jesus Christ and praying for this family going forward,” one donor wrote.
“Bless this little Angel. May you dance and ride your bike in heaven,” another posted.
Residents plan to gather to honor Sabrina with a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Monday at Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Olney, according to reports.
Ramey had reportedly been dating one of Sabrina’s relatives and was known to have mental health problems, a family friend told the News-Democrat.
“We’re just glad they caught the real killer, and now this family can mourn the loss of this beautiful child,” Denise Haley said.
Ramey has not yet entered a plea.
He was charged with battery stemming from an August incident and is also named as a defendant in several orders of protection filed by women in 2014 and this year, according to court records viewed by the News-Democrat.
He is not listed on Illinois’ sex offender registry.