Family friend accused of kidnapping, murdering 5-year-old girl

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WATKINS, Minn. – A Minnesota family is in shock after a family friend is accused of kidnapping and murdering their little girl.

Authorities say 5-year-old Alayna Ertl was taken from her home early Saturday morning by friend of the girl’s father while the rest of her family was sleeping.

Police told KARE that the man was staying the night with the family.

When they awoke, they discovered that Alayna and her father’s truck were missing.

By Saturday evening, officers had tracked down that family friend. The man then led them to a swampy area where Ertl’s body was discovered.

The medical examiner’s preliminary report lists Ertl’s cause of death as “homicidal violence.”

So far, the suspect has not been officially charged in the case and the motive behind the murder remains a mystery.

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