WATKINS, Minn. - Police say the body of a missing girl from Watkins, Minnesota was located in Cass County, just hours after an Amber Alert was issued.
Five-year-old Alayna Ertl was last seen Saturday around 2 a.m. and her parents noticed she was missing from their home around 8 a.m. A Minnesota man has been jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping.
"Our suspect in this case is a family friend, co-worker of the victim's father and was staying the night up in Watkins last night," said Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze. "He had previously been to that residence and spent a night here and there - so he's not a stranger and not new to the residence, but was just there for the night last night."
KARE 11 is not naming the suspect since he has not been formally charged. The cell phone in the car he was driving was last pinged in Todd County at 9 a.m. Then, around 5 p.m., authorities found the suspect and Ertl's body in rural Motley at a home out in the woods.
"Obviously not the outcome that we wanted and when we did learn the information, the officers in the room, you could see it was... it weighed heavy on them," Cruze said. "We tried everything we could today to find her safely and obviously that didn't happen. And we know that it doesn't compare to what the family's going through right now, but we felt we did everything we possibly could."
Police say they don't have any information as to what the events were that led up to the abduction and homicide.
According to authorities, the suspect is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail. The medical examiner is in charge of releasing the cause of death.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Meeker County Sheriff's Office at 320-693-5400.