Classmate is 2nd person charged in death of Delaware 17-year-old bludgeoned with baseball bat

Classmate is 2nd person charged in death of Delaware 17-year-old bludgeoned with baseball bat

NEWARK, Del. — In the end, it was people she knew and apparently trusted from whom Madison Sparrow had the most to fear.

Delaware prosecutors last week secured an indictment against a 17-year-old classmate of Sparrow’s who state investigators allege conspired with the victim’s ex-boyfriend to “lure Sparrow into a wooded area, ambush her and ultimately kill her,” according to the Delaware Attorney General’s Office.

Annika Stalczynski is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony. Noah M. Sharp, 19, has been indicted on the same array of charges.

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Each is being held in lieu of $1,021,000 cash bail. Sharp, who was charged the day after Sparrow’s body was found, is being held in the Sussex Correctional Institution.

Due to her age, Stalczynski is being held in a juvenile detention facility.

A.J. Roop, a state prosecutor, told the Delaware News Journal that Sparrow and Stalczynski were classmates who had “known each other for some time.”

“I believe that they had a relationship going back over a number of years,” Roop said. “I won’t get into much more than that, or what the status was recently, but they were acquaintances and they did know each other.”

Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement that, while every murder is an “outrage,” the killing of a child “strikes at everything we hold dear.”

“Madison was stolen from her family and friends with her life and her dreams still ahead of her,” Jennings said. “A life has been taken, and a cruel trauma has been inflicted on hundreds of people who knew and loved this kind, gentle young woman.”

There has been an outpouring of grief for Sparrow since she was reported missing by her family on Oct. 2. Her body was found that weekend in a wooded area near Interstate 95 and Delaware state road 896.

The Newark Charter School junior died of blunt force trauma to the head.

“My heart aches for Madi’s parents, the Sparrow family and the entire Newark Charter community,” Jennings said. “We can never replace what these people have lost, but we can – and will – hold her killers accountable.”

Sparrow’s mother reported her missing the night of Oct. 2 after the teen failed to return from an afternoon outing with a friend, in which Sparrow planned to get ice cream and buy her sister a birthday gift. That friend has not been publicly identified, according to the Delaware News Journal.

The following day, state police officials issued a Gold Alert for the missing teen.

Investigators conducting interviews learned that Sparrow had gone to an area of Newark where Sharp was, a news release from the Delaware State Police stated. Court records indicate that the location was a wooded area behind a local elementary school.

When detectives interviewed Sharp, he allegedly confessed to the killing and directed authorities to Sparrow’s body.

Court records obtained last month by the Newark Post allege that Sharp told police he used an aluminum bat to hit Sparrow in the head behind Maclary Elementary School. Investigators who went to the school and searched the woods found the bat.

They also found blood and Sparrow’s clothes, the newspaper reported.

“After the homicide occurred, (Sparrow) was transported to a secluded wooded location in Newark, where law enforcement officers discovered her body,” Delaware state police officials said.

When investigators announced Sharp’s arrest last month, they stated that he had not planned the crime alone. It was not until the indictments were handed down last week that Stalczynski’s identity was made public.

The News Journal reported that the court documents do not detail the plot to kill Sparrow but that the documents allege Sharp and Stalczynski carried the plan out the night the teen was reported missing.

Jennings declined to speak about the pair’s motive.

“We want to make sure that fair trial rights are preserved, and quite frankly, we cannot imagine how painful this is for Madison’s family and friends,” Jennings told the newspaper. “We don’t want them to suffer anymore.”