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 Madison 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

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