Former Marine Accused Of Murdering 16-Year-Old Girl He Met Online

Deputies found Josephine Jimenez’s body in a field days after family reported her missing.

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

Cody Slayton [via Madera County Department of Corrections]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Authorities in Central California have charged a former Marine with first-degree murder after he allegedly met a teenage girl he chatted with online and killed her.

According to the Madera County Sheriff's Office, Codi Slayton, 19, used social media to communicate with 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez, who disappeared from her home in mid-October and was found dead in a field over a week later.

"This seems to be something more along the line of online predator. So, my guess is somehow he had a method to contact her, as most predators do,” Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney said at a Jan. 16 press conference, Fresno’s KFSN-TV reported.

He added Slayton and Jimenez “struck up some kind of conversation and then the resulting crime occurred at some point after that.”

Slayton reportedly became a suspect in the case after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated him on an independent matter in December. NCIS alerted Madera County detectives that Slayton may be involved in Jimenez’s death.

“During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Slayton used various social media applications to generate and maintain communication not only with Josephine, but with young girls throughout California, and possibly other regions of the United States,” the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Slayton is currently incarcerated at the Madera County Department of Corrections on a $1 million bond.

"We are still mourning the loss of our daughter Josephine and look forward for Justice for Josephine,” the late teen’s family told KFSN-TV in a statement.

The sheriff’s office urges anyone who may have had online communication with Slayton to contact Det. Cpl. Noland (559) 232-8753, Det. Gutierrez (559) 514-5869, or the Valley Crime Stoppers (559) 498-STOP (7867). Tips can also be emailed to mcsotip@maderacounty.com.

Read more: ABC News