Mother describes son as protective of his little sister

Posted at 4:28 AM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-13 00:34:39-04

VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in Valley Springs, California, remain tight-lipped about this weekend's arrest of a 12-year-old boy in connection with last month's stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister inside their home.


      But, some area residents are expressing shock that the older brother, who'd claimed he saw an intruder in the house, is the suspect in Leila (LAY'-lah) Fowler's killing.


      The children's biological mother, Priscilla Rodriquez was interviewed a day before Saturday's arrest. She said her son would never hurt his sister, and described him as "protective" of the little girl. The children lived with their father, stepmother and other siblings.


      Police had said there was no sign of a burglary at the home. The killing shook the quiet community southeast of Sacramento, and set off an intense manhunt.


      The Calaveras Unified School District says counselors will be available at schools Monday to help classmates cope with the news.