Man indicted in death of 8-year-old Arizona girl

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) -- A man arrested in the disappearance and death of an 8-year-old girl in northwestern Arizona was indicted Thursday on first-degree murder and other charges.

A Mohave County grand jury also charged Justin James Rector with felony counts of child abuse, abandonment of a dead body and kidnapping a minor under the age of 15.

Rector, 26, is being held without bond in the Mohave County Jail. He's scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 19, and a federal public defender has been assigned to represent him.

Rector was arrested near a Bullhead City store shortly after the family of Isabella "Bella" Grogan-Cannella reported her missing Sept. 2 after she couldn't be found in the home.

Police said Isabella's body was found the next day in a shallow grave near her home and she had been strangled.

The girl was discovered wearing the same green, ruffled, sparkly tank top she had on when she was last seen, police said. However, authorities said she didn't have any clothing on her lower half, and they still are looking into whether she was the victim of sexual assault.

Authorities described Rector as a family friend who was staying at Isabella's home at the time she disappeared. Police said he has a lengthy criminal history.

Bullhead City is on the Arizona-Nevada border about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

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