DENVER – A 16-year-old girl is being investigated in the death of a 7-year-old boy who was missing in Denver on Monday, authorities said.
Police found the body of Jordan Vong hidden in the family’s home Tuesday and took the teenage girl into custody for investigation of first-degree murder. Joe Montoya, division chief of research, said Wednesday that the coroner’s office will determine the cause and manner of death, and the district attorney’s office will decide if charges should be filed.
He refused to release the girl’s relationship to Jordan or other details about her because she is a minor.
The police scoured the boy’s neighborhood on the eastern edge of the city and went by the house twice Monday to help secure a warrant for a more thorough search, that eventually the body.
“It was deliberately concealed, and it took some time to find it,” said Montoya, who declined to say where the body was located, what state, or how the boy died.
Jordan’s family called police Monday, after he was gone for a few hours. Officers searched a 20-block radius around the house, and a helicopter crew scanned the open space and ponds in the area.
Montoya said Wednesday that some researchers had worked 48 hours straight on the matter.
“The emotional drain is very intense,” he said. “I felt it myself, and I know that the researchers felt it.”
Montoya, who described the family as “cooperative to a point,” refused to say if investigators are looking for more suspects.
KCNC-TV in Denver reported that Jordan’s mother attended a vigil at her son’s elementary school Wednesday night. She thanked the community for helping in the search and asked for prayers to say through my tears that her son is “a better place.”
Jordan is a former teacher, one of the more than 200 people gathered at Marie L. Greenwood Academy, said the boy’s smile spread joy.
“Seeing him happy made me happy,” said Desirae Chamberlin. “His little laugh was contagious … He was so sweet. He picked me dandelions.”