Teen Girl Charged in Murder

POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009 - 11:03am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm

Attorneys asked an investigator on Wednesday why 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante killed her 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten in October. The investigator from the Missouri Highway Patrol said Bustamante told him in an interview: "because she wanted to see what it felt like".

On Wednesday, a Cole County judge said the crime against 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten was vicious enough to certify Bustamante as an adult. Bustamante is now in adult custody in Cole County. Officers found Olten's body in the woods near the girl's St. Martin's home Oct. 21. Now that Bustamante will be tried as an adult, her name and details of the case become public record.

A grand jury indictment says Bustamante killed her 9-year-old acquaintance by strangulation, cutting her throat and stabbing her. The investigator who interviewed Bustamante said in court Wednesday the 15-year-old told him she had dug two holes the Friday before the murder. He said Bustamante was the person who led investigators to Olten's body. Her principle testified Bustamante was a gifted student who received mostly A's and B's in class.

The judge also heard testimony that Bustamante had recently become interested in the goth culture and vampires. Bustamante's grandmother has custody of the 15-year-old. Court records show the teenager's father is in jail. Experts testified her grandmother had tried to help her cope with depression and a recent suicide attempt.

They said Bustamante was on Prozac. Under Missouri law, children as young as 12 can be held and tried as an adult for first-degree murder. Bustamante will return to court Dec. 7. Neighbors of the two girls say Elizabeth Olten's family moved from their St. Martin's home the day after they buried their 9-year-old.