H-NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

May 3, 2013 9:07 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Witness recants report of suspect in girl's death


VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - A sheriff's spokesman says a potential witness in the killing of an 8-year-old Calaveras County girl has recanted her statements about seeing a possible suspect running from the girl's home and "is no longer credible."

Sgt. Chris Hewitt said that while meeting with a sketch artist and detectives Wednesday, the unidentified witness refused to provide a description so a composite sketch could be made of the man.

Her account had been considered significant to identifying Leila Fowler's killer because her earlier descriptions had matched the one provided by Leila's 12-year-old brother, who was home alone with his sister when she was stabbed to death. The witness, however, reported seeing the suspect headed in the opposite direction than the brother had reported.

Hewitt said that while the development may seem like a setback in the search for the girl's killker, it instead allows investigators to narrow the scope of their probe.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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