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Suspect Arrested For Murder Of Bullhead City Girl

Bullhead City Police have made an arrest in the murder of an 8-year-old girl who was reported missing early Tuesday. The suspect is a friend of the family.

Authorities said a body found in a shallow grave in Bullhead City on Wednesday afternoon has been positively identified as Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella. 

Police Chief Brian Williamson said they arrested Justin James Rector, 26, of Bullhead City on suspicion of kidnapping and first-degree murder. He said Rector had been staying with Bella’s family.

Bella’s 10-year-old sister told police that the last time she saw Bella was about 11:30 p.m. on Monday when she went to the bathroom. Her sister reports Bella was with Rector and when she came out of the bathroom they were gone.  Bella’s sister didn’t hear any yelling or any kind of disturbance,” Williamson said.

He said an FBI forensics team found footprints at the crime scene that match Rector’s shoes. Rector has a previous criminal record in Bullhead City for non-violent crimes. 

KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Steve Shadley is no stranger to the issues shaping Arizona.