'Trusted family friend' charged with 5-year-old's murder

7:14 AM, Aug 28, 2012   |    comments
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An 18-year-old also faces charges, accused of helping dispose of the little girl's body.

  • John Robert Freeman DOB 10-4-95 of 422 Sixth Street, NF, NY was charged with Murder Second, an A1 Felony.
  • Tyler Scott Best, DOB 5-14-94, who listed a Buffalo address (193 Banard St), but had been staying at 422 Sixth Street with Freeman for the past year is charged with Tampering with Evidence, an E Felony.
Below is text from a press release issued by the Niagara Falls Police Department Monday night:

Today (8/27/2012) at about 6:20 a.m. a call of a missing 5 year old girl came into Niagara Falls Police Dept. The 5 year old, Isabella Tennant was staying overnight at 450 Sixth Street- the home of her great-grandmother. She was discovered missing just after 6:00 a.m. when her mother arrived to pick-her-up. The great grandmother, Sharon Lascelle, said she went to bed just after 11:00 p.m. and Isabella was playing with a 16 year old neighbor, John Freeman. A search was immediately conducted with assistance of numerous agencies, including a bloodhound from the Niagara Co. Sheriffs Office, however she was not located.

Just after 9 a.m. Tyler Best came to Police Headquarters and told detectives that he had information concerning this investigation. Based on the information that was given to detectives by Best Niagara Falls Police were able to locate Isabella's deceased body in a trash can in the alley of the 500 block of Third St. Detective's also interviewed John Freeman. From these interviews we learned that Isabella was killed by Freeman and the two males then placed Isabella into a trash bag and put her in a garbage can. They then moved the garbage can to the location where we found her on Third Street. At this time we believe Freeman killed Isabella with his bare hands (no weapons involved) and that Best was only involved after she was deceased and assisted with moving her remains.

Freeman was described by family members of the victim as a "close" and "trusted" family friend. They also said it was also not uncommon for him to be in the home and around Isabella unsupervised. Best and Freeman are described as close friends.

Both Freeman and Best will be arraigned Tuesday in Niagara Falls City Court at 9 a.m.

Written by Patrick Klinck

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