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Community in Shock over Arrest of Leila Fowler’s Brother


Among the so many shocking and unprecedented things about the murder of 8-year-old Leila Fowler, there is one piece of context that is seldom reported: Over the last two weeks, when the Calaveras County Sheriff called a press conference to talk about his department’s investigation, it wasn’t the press who showed-up.

Or rather, it wasn’t only the press. In nearly every instance, photographers and reporters have been outnumbered by the concerned or curious community members of Valley Springs.

Today that crowd was even larger than usual, and an audible gasp shot through it as the Sheriff announced that Leila’s 12-year-old brother had been arrested for her murder.

If the people who were gathered were shocked, you can’t blame them. After all, the boy friends described as Isaiah Fowler had been front-and-center at the vigil for Leila. He had been home with her when she was stabbed to death. And it had been 12-year-old Isaiah who gave what police are now calling a false description of her killer.

But the fact that there isn’t still a murderer on the loose in Valley Springs isn’t bringing much comfort to the kids who know the Fowler children.

“She just saw the while family the other day and gave the 12-year-old a hug, and to her that’s kind if scary,” said Tammy Ainsley or her daughter Jordan.

Jordan, like many of her friends, had no idea that this was going to turn out the way their parents had been dreading it would.

“Honestly as a parent, I did have it in the back if my mind. But her? No,” said Tammy Ainsley.

She was busy comforting her crying daughter in the wake of the press conference.

“I’m really shocked that he did that to his sister,” said Jordan Ainsley.