Man arrested in slaying of 7-year-old found in trash bin

A woman and her son visit the Georgia playground where a 7-year-old girl was last seen alive.

A man has been arrested in the slaying of a 7-year-old girl who disappeared from a suburban Atlanta apartment complex Friday and was found days later in a trash bin with stab wounds and evidence of sexual assault.

The suspect, 20-year-old Ryan Brunn, was an employee at the Canton, Ga., apartment complex where the victim, Jorelys Rivera, lived, Georgia Bureau of Investigation authorities said Wednesday.

The crime grabbed national attention after police and state investigators launched a massive hunt for the child, who was last seen with friends at a playground near her home.

Vernon Keenan, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said that Brunn had been under surveillance since Tuesday evening. The slaying occurred at a vacant apartment in the River Ridge apartment complex, authorities said.

News cameras captured an image of officers leading Brunn -- handcuffed and head bowed -- out of the apartment complex and into a sheriff's cruiser.

"We are confident that Brunn is the killer," Keenan said in a news conference.


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-- Richard Fausset in Atlanta

Photo: Tia Howard comforts son Gerald, 8, as they visit a Georgia playground where their 7-year-old neighbor Jorelys Rivera was last seen alive. Credit: David Goldman / Associated Press

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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal

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