Arrest Made in Jorelys Rivera Case

Ryan Brunn, 20, is a maintenance worker at the River Ridge apartment complex, GBI Director Vernon Keenan says.

Two days after authorities discovered the severely beaten body of first-grader in a Dumpster, an arrest was made today, Roger Garrison said.

Garrison offered no other details to Canton-Sixes Patch, but at a 1:45 p.m. press conference at the , announced the arrest of 20-year-old Ryan Brunn, a maintenance worker at the River Ridge apartment complex, where Jorelys lived and died.

"We have had Brunn under surveillance since last night," Keenan said.

Brunn, of 12309 River Ridge Dr., came to the attention of authorities based on information from the public.

"We reached a point this afternoon where we had sufficient evidence to obtain arrest warrants for the murder of the 7-year-old child," Keenan said.

Brunn, who Keenan said has no known criminal history, was arrested around 12:40 p.m. Wednesday and taken to the , where he is being held on a charge of murder.

"We are confident that Brunn is the killer," Keenan said. "And that is why he's in custody."

Additional charges are expected in the "near future," he said.

Brunn will make his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the in downtown Canton. The hearing will be held in Superior Court Judge Frank Mills’ courtroom (2D).

Brunn's arrest caps an emotional five days. issued a missing-child alert just before 11 p.m. Friday.

Jorelys, 7, was last seen around 5 p.m. Friday near a playground at the complex.

Over the weekend, as the hours ticked away with no indication of Jorelys' whereabouts, officials reclassified the case as a child abduction and called in state and federal agencies to join the investigation.

As of Tuesday, 65 local, state and federal law enforcement officials were assigned to the case. They included investigators from the , the , the GBI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

With the additional resources, in a compacting Dumpster from the apartment complex where she lived. An intense manhunt for a murderer began.

Georgia State Patrol troopers checked every car that entered or exited the River Ridge community.

As details of the gruesome Dumpster discovery emerged, .

"I don't really feel too safe," River Ridge tenant Jana McFry said. "I hope we get out of here."

The state's chief medical examiner performed an autopsy on Jorelys on Monday night. Tuesday, .

Calling it a "very horrific and brutal murder," he said the crime was "very calculated and planned."

Investigators estimate Jorelys "died as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head" approximately 60 to 90 minutes after she was abducted from the  playground around 5 p.m. Friday. She was taken to a vacant apartment, assaulted there, killed, then disposed of in the garbage bin.

The autopsy revealed Jorelys was stabbed an undisclosed number of times and sexually assaulted.

"There were also other injuries to the child which I'm not going to describe," Keenan said Tuesday.

Law enforcement had located an apartment with traces of what appeared to be blood and sent evidence to the GBI crime lab. Preliminary DNA results were expected Tuesday.

Keenan didn't specify what evidence links Brunn to Jorelys' murder.

He said there was no evidence of forced entry into the apartment. It was unlocked. Asked how far the vacant unit is from Jorelys' home, Keenan said, "The buildings are adjacent to each other."

The GBI director told reporters Tuesday that investigators felt "very strongly" that Jorelys' killer "resides in ... or has ready access" to the apartment community. Several registered sex offenders live at River Ridge, but Keenan said there was "no reason to believe at this point that the sex offenders are involved."

Authorities offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jorelys' killer.

Officials don't know the extent of Brunn's contact with Jorelys or her family, but Keenan said Brunn "was well known in the apartment complex because he was employed there."

Today's development comes on the same day that funeral arrangements for Jorelys were announced.

A public viewing is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home, and a public service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at . Rivera's remains will be flown to Puerto Rico for burial after a private service for family members, WSB-TV reported Tuesday night.

The case is far from over.

"This investigation will continue on for several months," Keenan said. "This is a mammoth case."

Still, the arrest was a relief to Canton Police Chief Jeff Lance.

"We did what we set out to do," he said. "Our goal was to make an arrest for what has happened to this sweet, innocent little girl."

David Resendiz December 07, 2011 at 06:04 PM
Thank you Rodney for keeping us informed!!!
Joy L. Woodson December 07, 2011 at 06:11 PM
This whole case is just entirely horrible and unimaginable.
Kathy December 07, 2011 at 07:07 PM
God Bless the Cherokee PD, Canton PD, GBI, FBI and many others who found this monster.
Heather Hood Pracko December 07, 2011 at 07:47 PM
They should just chain him to the effing swingset. And walk away. No "punishment" from our judicial system could ever be enough for what he did to that poor sweet girl.... Nothing can compare to her horror.
Melissa Cain December 07, 2011 at 08:52 PM
They must have gotten the right guy because there was the brightest rainbow in Canton just a little while ago! Rest in peace - sweet angel :)
Bill Thrasher December 07, 2011 at 08:54 PM
May the accused get **precisely** what he deserves. I will say nothing more.
Pam J December 07, 2011 at 09:01 PM
I kept saying it had to be somebody who who worked at the complex for them to think she was killed in an empty apartment. I'm not one to rush to judgement, but since they are pretty certain this is the guy, I believe he is. And while I believe everybody deserves their day in court, it's hard to say that in this case. And good luck finding a jury if it goes to trial. They would have to move it to an island with no TV or internet access for them to find somebody who has not heard of this case.
Joe Bozeman December 08, 2011 at 12:38 PM
This suspect should get due process. The crime committed here is terrible, but the trial should not become a media circus. I honestly hope Nancy Grace stays away from this and the accused is tried in a court of law and not in her court of popular opinion.
JT Morgan December 08, 2011 at 09:35 PM
I really hope that this guy gets a fair trial. With emotions running as high as they are, it seems like everyone just wants to see SOMEBODY locked up to feel better about the situation. They probably should move the trial to somewhere else in the state to make sure it is conducted fairly and with due process.
Robert Thomas. Sr. December 08, 2011 at 11:07 PM
The leftists will make sure that if he is guilty, if he is convicted, if he receives the death penalty, as he should, that if it is ever carried out it will be 20-30 years from now, during which you the taxpayer will be supporting him. The leftists clam that life without parole is a greater punishment - the lie to that is obvious in that these monsters and their lawyers strenuously do their best to avoid the death penalty in favor of life without parole. Generally, my view is that anyone who opposes the death penalty favors the lives of criminals over the lives of innocent victims, in this case an especially poignant innocent victim, whose death cries out for vengeance and punishment.
Rodney Thrash December 09, 2011 at 02:11 AM
You are more than welcome, David!
Rodney Thrash December 09, 2011 at 02:12 AM
You're right, Joy. Inexplicable.
Rodney Thrash December 09, 2011 at 02:13 AM
You're welcome, Ashley!
Rodney Thrash December 09, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Joe: I hope everyone will let the judicial process run its course.
Rodney Thrash December 09, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Good point, JT. Because of the severity of the crime, a lot of people have already convicted him before his day in court. As of right now, 2,630 like the "i hate Ryan Brunn" Facebook page. That's double the amount from last night.


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