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St. George Girl Was Strangled, Police Say

St. George Girl Was Strangled, Police Say

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- A 15-year-old girl whose body was discovered in a park was strangled, authorities said Thursday.

A 14-year-old boy remained in custody at a juvenile-detention center, and a judge gave prosecutors until Jan. 26 to file charges, said Brian Filter, Washington County deputy attorney.

The boy was arrested Wednesday, less than 12 hours after police received a call about a body in Dixie Downs Park. The victim was Keely Hall.

A suspect was identified through "flipping good police work," Sgt. Craig Harding said.

"We went after all information we could get from friends and associates," he said.

"Their relation was very short," Harding said. "They had just known each other for a very short period of time. They were not boyfriend and girlfriend. ... I don't know if they were classmates or not."

The park is just yards from Dixie Downs Elementary School. Classes were in session while officers looked for evidence, even dusting playground equipment for fingerprints. Teachers were keeping children away from the crime scene.

There was "never a question they shouldn't go to school," said Brad Ferguson, director of student services with the Washington County School District.

Shareene Strem, who lives next to the park, said officers interviewed her before dawn Wednesday.

"We're in total shock. ... Something of this nature is totally out of line," she said.

Prosecutors were waiting for reports from police and the medical examiner before settling on any charges.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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