Investigators say a teen found dead near a softball dugout last week spent a several hours in Rosemont Community Park before she was killed. They also say homeowners next to the park heard screams in the park between 8 and 9 pm and then a male voice. Kids playing in the park at that time is not unusual.
“A very short duration scream of two to three seconds and was unlike any other playful scream,” said detective Tony Turnbull of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives believe that’s when she was killed. During a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department released new information about their investigation into the death of Jessica Funk-Haslam and some surveillance video.
Haslam was found dead near the dugout of the baseball fields at Rosemont Community Park on March 5.
The 13-year-old girl had trauma to her head, a stab wound to her neck, and had been asphyxiated. Officials brought in criminalists to help analysis the evidence gathered at Rosemont Park to narrow down the suspect search.
Investigators say once Jessica left her house after an argument with her mother that Monday evening around 6 PM. Surveillance video showed that she boarded a light rail train at the Butterfield and Folsom Boulevard station near her home and went to the Watt and Manlove station. She then transferred to a bus and got off near the park. She attends Albert Einstein Middle School, which is adjacent to the park.
They believe she got to the park around 6:30 p.m., and that she spent the next few hours with someone that she knew.
“I think she was there for some period of time with somebody she knew and was comfortable with,” said Turnbull.
Cops have released surveillance video from a neighbor near the park showing a suspicious male running away from the park along Rosemont Drive toward Mayhew Road about the time Jessica was killed. It showed him ducking down a side street when a car approached.
“…waits for the car to pass abnd then comes back out on the street and goes back in the direction he came from,” said Turnbull.
This person is not being called a suspect, but cops would like to talk to him about what he may have seen.
Also, video from the middle school shows that at least five people walked through Rosemont Park while Jessica was there. Cops would like to talk to these people. They were in the park between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the night of March 4.
“There were people in the park that at least saw Jessica there if not witnessed what had occurred,” said Turnbull.
Detectives want to hear from anyone who may have seen Jessica at the light rail station to see if she was with anyone or talked to anyone. They are also hoping that someone in the park may have seen her in her distinctive zebra print jacket.
During the investigation, about 350 people have been interviewed so far. That includes about 250 homeowners around Rosemont Park and between 50-100 students at Albert Einstein Middle School.