5-year-old Cornwall girl murdered in family home
Flowers and teddy bears laid beneath police tape surrounding a family home in Cornwall, Ont., serving as a tribute to a five-year-old girl brutally murdered in her own home.
"There are obvious signs of trauma to the deceased person," Cornwall Police Chief Daniel Parkinson told reporters at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
While police remain tightlipped about the events leading up to five-year-old Alissa Martin-Travers' death, they did tell reporters that her mother called 911 around 1:30 a.m. Thursday reporting that someone charged into their home and her daughter was hurt.
Police arrived at the family's Cumberland Street residence shortly after receiving the call.
The five-year-old girl was at home with her mother Stephanie Martin and her 17-month-old sister at the time of the alleged incident. Martin and her youngest daughter were uninjured.
After searching the area for hours, police arrested 20-year-old Shane Haley of Cornwall, Ont. early Thursday afternoon at his home without incident. Haley is charged with first-degree murder in the little girl's death.
Police say Alissa's mother recognized Haley from the neighbourhood but the two have no known relationship.
At an afternoon news conference, police told reporters they don't think the girl's family was targeted.
"We have no real reason to suspect that this was a targeted invasion," said Parkinson.
With no known motive, friends and neighbours are left with many questions.
"This is crazy. I can't believe it. I'm stunned," said Tanya Lague, a friend of the family.
"She was such a cute kid," said Jenny Lague.
Although Alissa's parents are separated, friends and family say they were close and only wanted the best for their daughter.
Acquaintances were also shocked by the murder and remembered Alissa fondly.
"She's just a sweet little five-year-old that comes into the store and her mother allows her to buy a treat now and then and she has her own little purse with her money," local corner store owner Bonnie Latreille told CTV News. "Just a really nice little girl, very well-behaved."
With one arrest made, police are continuing their investigation.
Haley remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
A post mortem to determine the cause of Alissa's death is to be conducted in Toronto on Friday.
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Const. Marc Bissonnette at 613-937-8477.
With a report from CTV's Catherine Lathem