BEDFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – The Bedford Police Department held a news conference Friday morning to give an update on the case of a missing teenager who was later found dead and detail how they handled the investigation. The body of Kaytlynn Cargill was found at an Arlington landfill, 15 minutes away from her home in Bedford.
Chief Jeff Gibson said they are not calling Kaytlynn’s case a murder investigation because the medical examiner has not released an official cause of death, but said while they have no suspect or person of interest police do not believe the community is in danger.
Chief Gibson detailed how the investigation began. He said — on Monday — 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 had been abducted or was in danger. “Some of the comments shared by the stepfather was they felt like Kaytlynn may possibly be playing at a friend’s house,” he said.
Tuesday afternoon 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 when Bedford police were contacted by Arlington police in reference to body found at a landfill in their city. Chief Gibson said, “Arlington Police Department notified our agency because they were aware of our missing child alert and the body that they had found shared some similar characteristics.”
Responding to complaints about the handling of the investigation the Chief said, “In review of this tragic situation, I completed a review of all the actions performed by law enforcement personnel since we were notified on this incident on Monday evening. This was in an effort to determine if there was anything that we could have possibly done differently as a police department. What I found is that our employees performed exceptionally well. There is nothing that we could have done differently.”
While investigators with the Bedford Police Department did attend Kaytlynn’s autopsy, the Chief declined to say what injuries she may or may not have sustained and only said, “The medical examiner’s office is still diligently working their investigation and as soon as we have a cause of death I will release that.”
Last night the community stood together in memory of Kaytlynn at a vigil at Central Junior High School in Euless, where Kaytlynn was a student. At least 100 parents, students and even some of Kaytlynn’s family stood in a circle and tried to put into words what the teen meant to them.
Teenager Brooke Kirkland went to school with Kaytlynn and is having a hard time coping with her murder. “I don’t understand it at all. She was… she’s 14. What did she do to you? She’s just out here doing a normal thing and then she’s just gone.”
Kaytlynn disappeared Monday night after leaving home at the Oak Creek Apartments to take her dog for a walk. At the time Bedford police said they were treating her case as a “missing runaway.”
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page for anyone wanting to help the Cargill family.