Police: Bedford Teen Likely Killed With Hammer Over Drugs

By Annie Gimbel | CBSDFW.com

UPDATED | September 1, 2017 10PM

BEDFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – The Bedford Police Department has detained a 16-year-old acquaintance of Kaytlynn Cargill, in connection to her death.

His arrest warrant states Cargill was likely killed with a hammer.

It also states the juvenile deleted texts and phone calls trying to establish an alibi with his then girlfriend. He was staying with her for two weeks prior to Cargill’s disappearance in her mother’s apartment in the same complex where Cargill lived.

The detention warrant details witness testimony to investigators about the 16-year-old planning to sell drugs to Cargill the day she was reported missing. That witness also told police he later saw Cargill running away from the juvenile.

The warrant details how on June 25, crime scene technicians found small areas of blood spatter along the hallway walls and the hallway closet door where the juvenile stayed. They also found blood on the blinds in the kitchen and area leading to the patio.

The next day, investigators obtained a brown leather duffle bag belonging to the 16-year-old they thought contained evidence.

On July 18, a Forensic Biologist for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed blood found on the hallway closet door frame, bathtub and back patio railing was Cargill’s.

Little more than a week later, a search warrant was issued for the 16-year-old on August 2.

But he wasn’t detained until this morning when police arrested him at O.D. Wyatt High School. He was taken to the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center.

News of the teen’s detainment was met with relief from residents of Cargill’s apartment complex.

“People with kids, little kids especially, I hope it puts them at ease. It makes me feel better, yeah definitely,” said resident Kraig Pitman.

Bedford resident Alma Alvarado’s daughter Keianna Duff was friends with Cargill.

“It’s heartbreaking. I was thinking about it like, I don’t know why somebody would do that to such a young girl,” said Duff sadly.

Cargill was last seen alive, walking her dog on June 19 inside the Oak Creek Apartments, in Bedford, where she lived. When the 14-year-old didn’t return home after 30 minutes, her parents began looking for her. Her mother later found the pet tied to a fence… but her daughter was nowhere to be found. Thus, they called police.

At the time, Bedford police said they were treating her case as a “missing runaway.”

Bedford Police Chief Jeff Gibson detailed how the investigation began at a press conference back in June. He said — on Monday (June 19)– night officers responded to a missing person call, initiated a report, and later entered Kaytlynn’s information — into both local and national databases — as a missing child.

At that time, Gibson said officers had no indication that the teen was abducted or in danger. “Some of the comments shared by the stepfather was they felt like Cargill may possibly be playing at a friend’s house,” he said.

On Tuesday, June 20, Bedford police initiated a “child is missing alert” – which sends an automated phone call to the community. They also sent out a community message alert and posted missing bulletins of Kaytlynn on their social media sites.

Chief Gibson also addressed the fact that an Amber Alert was not issued and again said it didn’t happen because Kaytlynn’s case did not meet the criteria necessary to issue the child abduction emergency.

It was on Wednesday the 21st when Bedford police were contacted by Arlington police in reference to body found at a landfill in their city, 15 minutes away from where Cargill lived. The body was the missing teen.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled her death homicidal violence.

Following Cargill’s death, former police officer and chief, Charles Clark started a grassroots push to rewrite the rules for children in danger.

“It just really kind of hit me that maybe something needs to be changed because there wasn’t an Amber Alert,” said Clark, who started the petition to change Amber Alert guidelines.

Police handling the case faced subsequent scrutiny for not issuing an Amber Alert when she was reported missing.

But what many people don’t realize, is that Cargill’s situation didn’t meet the current standards for an Amber Alert. Regardless, the decision not to issue one upset hundreds of people, who signed a petition to take a fresh look at that standard.

When it comes to cases such as Cargill’s, Clark isn’t suggesting exactly how he would change the alert. But people have made suggestions for entire new alerts, or something for specific age brackets.

Clark’s goal is to entice more agencies to share ideas, then ask legislators to make it happen.

“It needs to be changed. Something needs to be added. It needs to be adapted, whatever, but something needs to happen,” said Clark.

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