Alabama Girl, 11, Found In Woods Was Strangled To Death; Suspect Arrested

Christopher Madison has been charged with capital murder for killing Amberly Barnett.

March 05, 2019
Christopher Madison [DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office]

Christopher Madisonhttps://app.asana.com/0/32923395333443/1112570209140239/fCredit: Dekalb County Sheriff's Office

Photo by: Christopher Madison [DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office]

Christopher Madison [DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office]

By: Mike McPadden

DEKALB COUNTY, AL — Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of a missing 11-year-old girl whose body was found in a wooded area this past Saturday morning. An initial autopsy indicated the child was strangled to death. The suspect has been charged with capital murder.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office announced that Christopher Madison, 33, was taken into custody on Saturday for drug-related charges. Authorities added the capital murder charge on Monday.

Amberly Barnett was reported missing late Friday by her aunt, with whom she lived in the town of Collinsville. Searchers allegedly discovered the girl's body the following morning, just 200 yards behind the mobile home of accused killer Christopher Madison.

Legal records indicate that Christopher Madison is a father of two who was arrested for harassment in May 2018, and had an order of protection taken against him by his girlfriend last October. The girlfriend wrote in her petition that Madison had previously “punched,” “smacked,” and strangled her “to the point of passing out.”

Sheriff Nick Welden explained that further details regarding the murder case are not being shared at this time, saying, “Due to the ongoing investigation, and in order not to jeopardize that investigation, I am not at liberty to disclose any additional information concerning this case.”

In addition, Sheriff Welden thanked a joint effort by multiple police departments and community members in recovering Amberly and bringing in Madison. He also added, “My heart is still shattered…. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as we move forward during this tragic event.”

In a tearful interview, Jonie Barnett, Amberly’s mother, told a reporter, “I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect daughter. Nobody should bury their 11-year-old child. Nobody should have hurt her. She deserves more than justice. She deserves her life.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been established online to help Amberly’s family pay for funeral costs. You can check it out here.

Madison is being held without bond in the DeKalb County Jail. If convicted, faces the death penalty.

Read more: WSB, WPXI, People

Next Up

5 Key Updates from the Trial of Derek Chauvin

George Floyd's brother broke down during his testimony saying, "He showed us how to treat our mom."

Grieving Grandmother Desperate For Answers In 12-Year-Old Grandson’s Murder

Glenda Mack says she has no idea who would hurt the young boy she had been raising since he was a newborn.

True Crime News Roundup: Beauty Pageant Hopeful Vanishes After Flying To Las Vegas

Plus: Young boy’s body found in Nevada freezer; man accused of murdering, and Florida serial killer convicted of three murders.

True Crime News Roundup: Alabama Corrections Officer Vanishes With Her Inmate Boyfriend

Plus: Dead Louisiana woman found fused to sofa; JonBenét Ramsey’s father seeks governor’s help with DNA testing; Australian man incarcerated for killing gay American in 1988; and Pennsylvania mother shoots her two boys in the head.

True Crime News Roundup: Prince Andrew Stripped Of Military Titles After Judge Allows Sex Abuse Case To Proceed

Plus: A Chicago mother is arrested in connection to the murder of her 6-year-old son; the convicted killer Robert Durst dies at age 78; Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ sentencing date is set; and an LGBTQ+ rights movement hero is found dead in a Florida landfill.

Mother Who Claimed 7-Year-Old Daughter Was Sick Sentenced To Prison After Girl Dies

“This is a despicable crime,” prosecutor says of Kelly Renee Turner approving “surgery after surgery” for the child.

Update: Is Samuel Little America's Most Prolific Serial Killer With Up To 90 Murders?

By comparison, Gary Ridgway, the infamous Green River Killer, is currently considered the country’s worst serial killer following his conviction for murdering 49 victims in Washington during the 1980s and ’90s.

UPDATE: Video Of Police Shooting of 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo Released

Adam Toledo was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer on March 29.

Remembering Georgia Lee Moses: The Search For Answers In The Little Girl’s 1997 Killing Continues

“My sister will get her justice,” insists the 12-year-old murder victim’s younger sibling.

Police Continue Search For Relisha Rudd, Who Was 8 When She Vanished In 2014

‘I have days when I think she's alive. I have days when I think she's no longer with us,’ says Henderson Long of D.C.’s Missing Voices.