Tristyn Bailey: St. Johns County teen reported missing, later found dead; 14-year-old boy charged with murder in her death

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — Action News Jax will continue to follow the latest updates in the Tristyn Bailey case on air and online. You can see team coverage of the latest developments in this story on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax at 5, 5:30, 6 and 6:30.

Friday, May 28, 2021:

Aiden Fucci, the teen accused of killing Tristyn Bailey, will now be charged as an adult and is facing a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.

Fucci appeared in court on Friday morning and was denied bond. On Thursday, State Attorney R.J. Larizza revealed that Tristyn had been stabbed 114 times.

Click here to read details from Larizza’s public briefing.

Friday, May 14, 2021:

4:20 P.M. UPDATE: Several events to honor the memory of Tristyn Bailey, the St. Johns County teen who was found dead on Mother’s Day, are taking place Friday and Saturday.

On Friday morning, students at Pacetti Bay Middle School in St. Johns County wore white to remember Tristyn, who was a student at Patriot Oaks Academy.

On Friday night, there will be a vigil at 7 p.m. at the amenities center for Trailmark Living, a neighborhood in St. Augustine not far from World Golf Village.

On Saturday, PDQ restaurants in Julington Creek and Bartram Park are raising money for Tristyn’s family. The restaurants will donate 20 percent of their sales on Saturday to help cover funeral costs for the teen.

Both restaurants are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, May 13, 2021:

5 P.M. UPDATE: A petition on Change.org has gathered more than 200,000 signatures, urging the State Attorney’s Office to charge Aiden Fucci, the teen accused of killing Tristyn Bailey, as an adult.

Another petition shows more than 6,000 signatures, asking that Fucci’s charges be upgraded to first-degree murder. Right now, he’s facing a second-degree murder charge.

Tristyn Bailey case: State attorney weighing whether to try teen’s accused killer as an adult

The circulating petitions won’t affect the State Attorney’s decision, but it shows how much the community has rallied around Tristyn’s family.

The State Attorney’s Office said it is still looking through evidence and interviews in making the decision whether to charge Fucci as an adult. The agency has 21 days from Fucci’s arrest, which was on May 10, to make a decision, but said a decision should be made before then.

RELATED: Tristyn Bailey case: Juvenile law expert questions murder suspect Aiden Fucci’s past

12 P.M. UPDATE: In a Facebook post, Brittney Bailey Russell, Tristyn’s sister, said that several people have asked her how they can help during this tragic time.

“I’ve been asked by so many, “what can we do to help” and honestly, nothing will bring her back so our answers have just been open air. I also recognize everyone else needs to grieve through this process like us so I will forward this go fund me started by a family friend,” Russell said.

The family has not asked for anything but will use the money raised to make memorials for Tristyn.

RELATED: Cheer community selling T-shirts in memory of Tristyn Bailey, proceeds go to Bailey’s family

“Her name WILL live on because our baby Bailey was taken far too soon from us. The gifts, prayers, thoughts, messages, donations, hugs and memories shared have been overwhelming, we cannot believe the boundless out cry of support for Tristyn and our family. She DESERVES this and we all know our center of attention queen is looking down freaking out about her MILLIONS of views,” she added.

If you wish to contribute to the cause, click here to access the GoFundMe.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

10:30 A.M. UPDATE: More social media accounts reported to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office have been added to a list of accounts that “are using this case to try to gain fame and followers.” The Sheriff’s Office says that they have investigated the below accounts and they no longer needed to be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office.

  • ATK.Kris
  • Ryan.the.finnesser
  • Carey_the_thuggg420

So far eight different social media accounts have been listed as individuals who have been reported to the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office said “these individuals had nothing to do with this incident” and thanked the public for the tips they have sent in so far.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

6 P.M. UPDATE: Action News Jax’s Dani Bozzini got to speak one-on-one to St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick about the latest in the investigation into Tristyn Bailey’s murder.

Hardwick called this case cold-blooded murder and said his team of investigators are working around the clock to make sure Tristyn gets justice to bring closure to her family.

Deputies have collected possible evidence at several crime scenes, including retention ponds. They are starting to comb through those items right now.

“This case does not end with the unfortunate death of Tristyn and it doesn’t end with the arrest of our suspect. It ends when we get everything together and everything is exhausted. We have a long way to go,” Hardwick said.

RELATED: New details into Tristyn Bailey’s murder investigation in one-on-one with SJC Sheriff Hardwick

Hardwick said social media has played a key role in the investigation thus far, including a Snapchat selfie of murder suspect Aiden Fucci in the back of a patrol car with the caption, “Has anybody seen Tristyn lately?”

Dani asked if it’s unusual for a suspect to have their phone out.

“We treat them as witnesses because that’s what he was in the beginning. He was a witness to a missing persons case. On the back of the police car -- putting handcuffs on a witness to a missing person is not the norm for law enforcement,” Hardwick said.

Hardwick said there “could be forthcoming arrests” in the case.

3:39 P.M. UPDATE: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said a number of social media accounts being reported by tipsters “are using this case to try to gain fame and followers.”

The Sheriff’s Office said “at this time, the below accounts have already been investigated and no longer need to be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office”

  • WD_Conner
  • WD_Tyler
  • WD.Jayson
  • ATK.Jayson
  • Wd_jayson

The Sheriff’s Office said “these individuals had nothing to do with this incident” and thanked the public for the tips they have sent in so far.

1:30 P.M. UPDATE: The arrest report for 14-year-old Aiden Fucci has been released by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

The report details that video footage shows Fucci and Tristyn Bailey walking together around 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning east on Saddlestone Drive. At 3:27 a.m., Fucci was seen walking alone holding a pair of white shoes. Fucci told police he took his shoes off because his feet hurt.

RELATED: Could Aiden Fucci, the teen accused of killing 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, be charged as an adult?

A search warrant was executed at Fucci’s house where police found clothing in Fucci’s bedroom that “yielded a presumptive positive test result for the presence of blood.” When Fucci was taken into questioning, the arrest report details that Fucci changed his story several times, but ultimately made several admissions.

The arrest report also states that Bailey was found on the south end of a retention pond. She appeared to have significant injury to her head and other trauma. She was found wearing black pants and a black shirt.

Fucci lives 0.3 miles away from where Bailey was discovered.

1:05 P.M. UPDATE: In a Facebook post, The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tristyn Bailey died as a result of a stabbing.

“It has now been determined by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Predrag Bulic that the cause of death is sharp force trauma by stabbing. The manner of death is homicide. We will continue to investigate this case fully and will begin transitioning this case to the State Attorneys Office.”

12:15 P.M. UPDATE: A source told Action News Jax that Tristyn Bailey, the St. Johns County girl who was found dead on Sunday, suffered multiple stab wounds.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is expected to provide an update this afternoon.

8:37 A.M. UPDATE: Aiden Fucci, the 14-year-old boy accused of killing Tristyn Bailey, appeared in Volusia County Regional Detention Center in front of Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger, for a detention hearing.

Aiden appeared to fight back tears as the judge formally charged him with second-degree murder.

Judge Orfinger ordered Aiden to stay in juvenile detention for 21 days until the State Attorney makes their decision on if he will be charged as an adult.

Watch below:


Monday, May 10, 2021

11 P.M. UPDATE: Action News Jax Robert Grant saw dive teams at a retention pond near where Tristyn Bailey’s body was found.

Crime scene tape was put up Monday night as crews searched the water for clues in the teen’s death. The search was called off around 8:30 p.m. after it got dark.

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson, with experience as an officer and the FBI, said crews could possibly be searching for the murder weapon.

Tristyn Bailey: Cheerleading community reflects on Tristyn’s life and legacy

“One of the reasons you throw it in the water is to remove the possibility of fingerprints and blood evidence,” he said.

Carson added with the technology available to the sheriff’s office, detectives would still likely find the evidence they need.

When asked about the search, a representative with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said there’s no new information to be released at this time.



12:30 P.M. UPDATE: An arrest has been made in connection to the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, Sheriff Robert Hardwick of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

Aiden Fucci, 14, is in custody and is facing a second-degree murder charge, the sheriff’s office announced during a news conference.

Hardwick confirmed that Tristyn’s body was found by a resident Sunday in a wooded area.

SJSO said there are multiple crime scenes involved.

A cause of death has not been released at this time. The medical examiner is conducting its investigation.

RELATED: Timeline of events in disappearance, death of St. Johns County teen Tristyn Bailey

SJSO said Aiden attended Patriot Oaks Academy, a K-8 school on Longleaf Pine Parkway, with Tristyn and both grew up in the same neighborhood.

Aiden is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in the Volusia County Regional Detention Center, the Office of State Attorney R.J. Larizza said.

Larizza’s office said in a statement in part, “Our office will continue to investigate the case to determine both the appropriate charges going forward, and whether or not he will be charged as an adult.”

CRIME GUIDELINES NOTE: Each time a minor is arrested, Action News Jax discusses the seriousness of the charge they are facing. In this case, Aiden Fucci is facing a second-degree murder charge, which is a felony, so that is why we have decided to show his photo.


Sunday, May 9, 2021:

After an hours-long search, police have located a body that they identified as Tristyn Bailey.

Tristyn Bailey went missing around 1 a.m. Sunday morning in the 700 block of North Durbin Parkway. Her family notified the police around 10 a.m. Sunday morning and police had been searching ever since.

The community gathered at Veterans Park around 4 p.m. to conduct their own search, desperate to find the missing victim.

RELATED: St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says body found is believed to be reported missing 13-year-old girl, community is grieving

Not too long after, the Crime Scene Unit arrived on the scene and the search was redirected to the nearby woods on Saddlestone Drive.

It was there that the body of Tristyn Bailey was discovered.

Police urge the community to respect the victim’s family in their time of grieving.

A vigil will be held at the South Amenity Center, 145 Durbin Pkwy, at 8:30 p.m. Monday night.

If you need to report a missing child reach out to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.


ORIGINAL STORY:

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a 13-year-old girl who was last seen around 1:15 a.m. at the Durbin Amenity Center in St. Johns County.

Tristyn Bailey was first reported missing by her family early Sunday.

She was last seen wearing a white cheerleading skirt and a dark-colored shirt.

If you have any information about the current whereabouts or have seen Tristyn, contact your nearest local law enforcement agency or call SJSO at 904-824-8304 or by calling 911.