Jorelys Rivera Stabbed, Assaulted in 'Calculated' Murder

PHOTO: This handout photo provided, by the Cherokee County Sheriffs Department, shows Jorelys Rivera, 7, of Canton, Ga, Dec. 5, 2011.
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Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl whose body was found in a Georgia dumpster, was bludgeoned, sexually assaulted and stabbed in a remarkably vicious attack by a killer who police believe lives in her apartment complex.

The wounds to the girl's body were so severe that Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan refused to describe them beyond that fact that she had blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds.

Keenan described the crime as a "very horrific and brutal murder."

Jorelys had been missing since Friday and was last seen at her apartment community's playground in Canton, Ga. Her body was pulled from a dumpster Monday and an autopsy was completed Monday night.

"We don't know if the child was targeted or not. We do know from what was determined through the autopsy and other evidence this was a very calculated and planned crime," Keenan said.

Police believe the murderer is still nearby.

"The investigators feel very strongly the killer of the child resides in the apartment complex or has ready access to the apartment complex," said Keenan. "It's very important that persons who live in that apartment complex … If they have any information that could have bearing on this case, to let us know."

Keenan said there are several registered sex offenders who have resided in the River Ridge apartment complex, but they have all been interviewed and "we have no reason to believe at this point that [those] sex offenders are involved."

The scene of the murder may have been an unlocked apartment at the River Ridge apartment complex where Jorelys lived.

Investigators believe Jorelys was abducted near the River Ridge playground, taken to a vacant apartment within the complex, assaulted and murdered, and then tossed in the dumpster.

"We have found evidence in [the vacant apartment] we believe is blood," said Keenan. "We are awaiting results of the investigation. The lab worked all night long."

Preliminary DNA test results are expected to be released today.

The award for any information that leads to the capture or conviction of the murderer is now $15,000, up $10,000 from yesterday.

Canton Police Chief Jeff Lance told reporters Monday, "What we need is help from the public -- that's the key to this right now."

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call 770-704-7074.

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