Tristyn Bailey, the Florida cheerleader who was murdered earlier this month, was reportedly stabbed 114 times by fellow peer, Aiden Fucci. The 13-year-old girl fought for her life while being mercilessly stabbed and her body was dumped in a nearby wooded area. The motive is still being discussed.
Fucci, the 14-year-old accused of killing Tristyn Bailey, is being tried as an adult and is facing first-degree murder charges. He is currently in a Jacksonville jail as he awaits his arraignment in St. Johns County. The teen has been in custody since his arrest on May 10, one day after slaying Bailey. He was originally charged with second-degree murder, but Judge Howard M. Maltz upgraded the charge Friday morning. Aiden Fucci is being held without bail.
Tristyn Bailey was reportedly at the “wrong place at the wrong time” according to Johns County State Attorney R.J. Larizza. The lawyer explained that Fucci stabbed the 13-year-old Florida cheerleader 114 times during the killing. Though police identified stabbing as the primary cause of death, citing lacerations on the teen’s body, it was unclear the extent of the damage.
During a press conference on Thursday, Larizza said that “you’ve heard our victim was stabbed … to say it was horrific was an understatement.” The lawyer continued, admitting “there were 114 stab wounds.”
According to his statement, Bailey was “fighting for her life” before she eventually succumbed to the injuries. It has been reported that Aiden Fucci was planning to kill someone for quite some time, having expressed to other teens that he was going to murder someone within the month.
Authorities believe Fucci chose Tristyn Bailey randomly and that “this could simply be a wrong place at the wrong time situation.” The investigation is ongoing, however, there is clear evidence that points to a vicious, premeditated attack, and Fucci will be punished accordingly, according to Judge Michael Orfinger.
The Florida cheerleader originally went missing on the weekend of May 8, with an official report filed on Sunday, May 9. Tristyn Bailey was last seen at the local community center late night Saturday and security footage shows her walking into a wooded area with a boy her age.
After a 16-hour search, her body was found near a pond. An original report claimed she was stabbed a “horrific” amount of times, and that it was an obvious case of “cold-blooded murder,” according to St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick.
At the time, Hardwick did not want to reveal the number of times Bailey was stabbed. However, he expressed that “it is horrible” and “the word accident is nowhere involved in this case.” It was confirmed early on that Fucci was the only suspect.
Family and friends remembered the sweet, loveable cheerleader during a week of tribute following the tragedy. Bailey’s cheerleading coach, Tanya White, said that the young teen had a “beautiful smile and presence.”
White also said that “she always was the first to hug me” and that Tristyn Bailey “was officially my favorite.” There was a vigil outside of the community center where Bailey was last seen, with flowers and notes from family and friends honoring the popular Florida cheerleader.
Aiden Fucci has not been sentenced, but online court records show that after his indictment by a grand jury, he will be transferred to adult court and will be reassigned to Judge R. Lee Smith. Larizza explained that “teenagers are capable of things we never imagined them doing,” warning parents in the community to keep close tabs on their children.
It was confirmed that Tristyn and Fucci attended the same school, but it is unclear whether they had a class together at Patriot Oaks Academy or whether they knew each other at all.