Denver Police arrest teenage girl in connection with death of 7-year-old Montbello boy initially reported missing

3 min. read
Division Chief of Investigation Joe Montoya during a press conference related to the death of 7 year old Jordan Vong. (Esteban L. Hernandez / Denverite)

UPDATE: Denver's District Attorney Office on Monday, August 13, said they are charging the juvenile — who was identified as being Jordan Vong's aunt — with one count of first-degree murder after deliberation and one count of child abuse resulting in death. The girl is being charged as an adult. The DA's office said Vong's body was found wrapped in a blanket hidden in a portable closed in the girl's basement bedroom. His cause of death is still being investigated. 

A 16-year-old girl is in Denver Police custody for investigation of first-degree murder in the death of a 7-year-old Montbello boy first reported missing Monday, police said Wednesday.

Division Chief of Investigation Joe Montoya said Jordan Vong's body was found "intentionally concealed" inside his family's residence on Tuesday night. He did not say where the body had been found. Montoya said a cause of death for the child will be determined by the coroner's office.

The unnamed girl was arrested by Denver Police detective on Wednesday morning, Montoya said. He did not ID the girl or say discuss the relationship between her and Vong. The girl has not been charged, though Montoya added the district attorney will make a final determination on charges.

Vong's family was "cooperative," though Montoya added he couldn't say much more about their cooperation level due to the investigation. He said that as far as he knew, the family was still being cooperative.

Montoya said there was no immediate evidence that Vong had been abducted, which is why no Amber Alert was issued in connection with his search. Vong had been last seen Monday at 2:40 p.m. Montoya said the family first called police from 4900 block of Fairplay Street at about 4:30 p.m on Monday.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said Tuesday evening Vong's body had been found, initially saying the search had turned into a death investigation.

Police initially did two "cursory" searches after arriving on the scene of the residence at about 4:45 p.m. Monday before seeking a search warrant, Montoya said. He said these kinds of searches have a different intent than those done with search warrants, which he said are more intrusive.

Montoya said a "more thorough search" of the residence was necessary during the course of the investigation, prompting police to obtain a search warrant. The warrant granted them access to the home at about 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday. About 30 minutes into the search, Vong's body was found, Montoya said.

"Sadly, we found Jordan deceased," Montoya said. "His body was intentionally concealed."

As officers continued investigating, Montoya said additional evidence was found that led to the teenage girl's arrest.

Pazen said Tuesday there was no immediate threat to the community. He thanked the community for their search efforts, officers and investigators, and the FBI for assisting in the case.

"Anytime that a young person passes, it's a tragedy," Pazen, a father of three boys, told reporters Tuesday night. "When a 7-year-old passes, that is something that hurts our hearts, not only in law enforcement but our community in general."

The case remains under investigation.

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