Man charged after missing 11-year-old girl found dead in Alabama woods

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — Authorities have arrested an Alabama man for the death of an 11-year-old girl, whose body investigators found over the weekend, according to WHNT.

Christopher Wayne Madison, 33, faces charges of capital murder, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to DeKalb County Sheriff's Office records.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said preliminary autopsy results show that Amberly Barnett, 11, was strangled. Her body was found Saturday morning in a wooded area about 200 yards behind Madison's home, he said.

"I said my heart was shattered a few days ago," Welden said at a news conference Monday. "My heart is still shattered."

Citing the ongoing investigation, Welden said he couldn't release further details Monday.

"These last few days have been extremely tiresome and emotional for myself and our entire staff and all the assistants we had," Welden said. "It was a very tragic event."

Amberly, who lived in Polk County, Georgia, was visiting her aunt in Alabama when she disappeared. She was last seen at her aunt's house in Collinsville at around 6 p.m.  Friday. A dark-colored SUV was reportedly seen at the home around the time she disappeared.

"Our main focus is justice for our sweet angel that gained her wings," Welden said. "Please pray for the family."

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