updated 4/27/2004 10:15:07 PM ET 2004-04-28T02:15:07

An 8-year-old girl disappeared while riding her bike to visit a friend, and was found dead hours later. On Tuesday, a 12-year-old boy was charged with murder.

The charge came almost 24 hours after 8-year-old Amy Michelle Yates vanished from the small trailer park.

“We have arrested a local 12-year-old male and charged him with murder” in juvenile court, said Carroll County Chief Deputy Sheriff Brad Robinson. The child was taken to Paulding County Youth Detention Center in Dallas, Ga.

Robinson refused to identify the boy, or say what led investigators to him. Police would not say if he lived in the trailer park, or knew the girl.

Yates’ body was found Monday night in tall weeds about 100 feet outside her trailer park, which comprises about 40 homes. Her bike was found between two abandoned trailers.

Many of the girl’s neighbors helped her parents search for the missing child Monday night. But her body was discovered only after a helicopter scanned the area using infrared technology.

“I don’t see how a stranger could’ve snatched her without a scream, a holler or anything,” said neighbor Shelly Bowman, whose sons played with Amy.

Bowman and her sister, Ansley Cherry, described Amy as a bright, energetic girl who made friends easily.

A Carroll County policewoman turned reporters away from the street where the Yates family lives, saying they did not want to talk. A listed telephone number was disconnected.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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