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Neighbors of slain 6-year-old nervous that killer hasn't been caught

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WEST JORDAN — While police say their investigation into the killing of a 6-year-old girl is continuing, they have released no new information for several days.

Worried residents in Sierra Newbold's West Jordan neighborhood say their street hasn't been the same since the young girl's body was discovered.

"We're all nervous around here. There's a lot of children and now you don't see them out here playing like they used to and everyone is afraid to let their kids out," neighbor Lana Spencer said.

Sierra's body was found in a canal near her home on June 25. No one has been arrested nor any suspects named in the case.

At her home, a pile of teddy bears placed in her honor remained outside the house on Thursday. Pink and purple ribbons put up by neighbors dotted the street. Those were the child's favorite colors.

"We've got a tight community around here and everyone has been very supportive," said Spencer.

We're all nervous around here. ...Everyone is afraid to let their kids out.

–- Lena Spencer, neighbor

Sierra's mother called police just before 7:30 a.m. on June 25 to report she was missing from her home at 2383 W. 7095 South. Officers started searching the area and found her dead a short time later. An autopsy indicated she had been sexually assaulted.

Police have not commented on a possible cause of death and have only said that no one has been ruled out as a suspect.

"There is obviously a predator out there that is a monster, that has murdered a child," West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond said at a news conference after the child was found. "Is this predator targeting other children? I have no idea at this point."

Since that day, Spencer no longer keeps her window open at night.

"Because this predator is still out there," she said. "It's take a lot from the kids, too. They don't feel free to go out in their own neighborhood."

"Everything is locked up at night," added Grant Parker, who lives near the canal where Sierra's body was found.

"I wish they would get to the bottom of it," said Merna Parker, Grant's wife. "It's kind of scary for the other kids in the neighborhood."

Some have wondered about a mysterious van seen in the area prior to the girl's death and whether it had anything to do with the case.

West Jordan Police Sgt. Drew Sanders said his department would only be releasing factual information about the case and not responding to rumors or speculation. If someone has a possible tip or lead, they should contact police at 801-256-2211, he said.

Sanders said the case remain his department's "top priority."

Contributing: Ashley Kewish


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