What we know about the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey

The body of Tristyn Bailey, 13, a seventh-grader at Patriot Oaks Academy in Saint Johns, was discovered Sunday, May 9, 2021, hours after the teenager was reported missing by her family.

Aiden Fucci, 14, has been arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Tristyn. His trial is expected to begin in November.


Days before the first anniversary of Tristyn Bailey's death, the St. Johns County teen accused of killing the 13-year-old girl appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing.

Charged with first-degree murder, Aiden Fucci, 15, will stand trial in November, Judge Lee Smith said at Thursday's hearing. Fucci is set appear in court again on June 7 and Oct. 26 before his trial that is expected to begin on Nov. 7 and last for as long as two weeks.

More: To stay up to date on the case, download the Times-Union app today

One year later: How a community knitted together by tragedy supported a family in grief


How did Tristyn Bailey die?

According to Chief Medical Examiner Predrag Bulic, the cause of Tristyn's death is "sharp force trauma by stabbing." An autopsy revealed Tristyn had 114 "stab or cutting wounds about her head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and back," according to an unredacted warrant affidavit released by the State Attorney on May 27.

A St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputy sits in his car at the end of Saddlestone Drive in the Durbin Creek community on Monday, May 10, 2021, near where the body of Tristyn Bailey, 13, was found on Sunday.
A St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputy sits in his car at the end of Saddlestone Drive in the Durbin Creek community on Monday, May 10, 2021, near where the body of Tristyn Bailey, 13, was found on Sunday.

Where was Tristyn Bailey found?

Tristyn's body was found Sunday evening, May 9, near a retention pond at the end of the cul-de-sac on Saddlestone Drive in the neighborhood in which she lived.

What happened to Tristyn Bailey? Court records detail what happened the night she was killed

Looking back: Before Aiden Fucci, these juveniles were charged as adults in high-profile Jacksonville-area cases

Who is the suspect charged in Tristyn Bailey's death?

Aiden Fucci, 14, is an eighth-grader at Patriot Oaks Academy, the same school where Tristyn attended seventh grade.

What is Aiden Fucci charged with?

Fucci was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. The charge later was upgraded to first-degree murder due to the severity of the crime — namely, the 114 stabbing wounds to the victim's body, said R.J. Larizza, state attorney for the circuit.

Coping with loss: St. Johns County communities deal with killing of Tristyn Bailey

'Our worst nightmare': Sheriff: Tristyn Bailey's death was the 'horrific, brutal murder of a 13-year-old child'

What led to Fucci's arrest?

Interrogation and surveillance video led to the 14-year-old boy's arrest, according to a redacted version of the arrest report released by the sheriff's office. "The defendant's story changed several times but [he] ultimately made several admissions," according to the report.

What about that Snapchat selfie?

The sheriff's office confirmed that a Snapchat selfie depicting the suspect in the back of a law enforcement vehicle on May 9 was, in fact, posted by the teen charged in Bailey's death. In the image, the suspect appears to be holding up a peace sign, with the caption: "Hey guys, has inbody [sic] seen Tristyn lately."

When the Snapchat was posted, the suspect was a witness being questioned in what was still a missing person case, according to the sheriff's office.

People responded on Snapchat. One message read, "You were with her Aiden u know what happened to her."

What Sheriff Rob Hardwick said about the death of Tristyn Bailey

St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick called the crime a "horrific, brutal murder."

"This is one of those cases — I hate to use the words, but — it's our worst nightmare," Hardwick said in an interview with The St. Augustine Record. "These kids both went to school together. ... It's going to be a long process to heal for our community."

Tristyn Bailey remembered as someone who brought 'light to everyone around her'

Thousands of friends, neighbors and classmates gathered for a "Celebration of Life" public memorial service to honor Tristyn Bailey Tuesday, May 18, at Celebration Church Arena in Jacksonville. Attendees were asked to wear white or aqua, the latter of which was Tristyn's favorite color. You can watch the service here:

Why was Aiden Fucci's mother arrested?

Crystal Lane Smith, 35, was arrested Saturday, June 5, 2021, and charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony charge. According to the felony warrant, video surveillance from Smith’s home shows her retrieving “what appeared to be a pair of blue jeans, taking the jeans to the adjacent bathroom, and appeared to be scrubbing the jeans in the bathroom sink,” according to the warrant. The video then showed Smith taking the jeans to her master bedroom “for a period of time,” the warrant said.

Who are the witnesses in the case against Aiden Fucci?

The 7th Judicial State Attorney's Office has listed well over 200 witnesses for its case against Aiden Fucci, according to court documents. The list includes both of Fucci's parents; the county medical examiner; dozens of law enforcement officials and witnesses; residents in the Durbin Crossing neighborhood; staff from Patriot Oaks Academy, where Fucci and Bailey attended school; and others.

Witnesses say Aiden Fucci talked about stabbing someone to death

A student who said she was close with Aiden Fucci said he talked about killing people frequently, and she said that within a month before Tristyn Bailey's killing, he said he planned to murder someone by dragging a random person into the woods and stabbing them, according to a just-released St. Johns County Sheriff's Office report.

The friend also said that on occasion, Fucci "would take his knife out and pretend to stab her with it."

GoFundMe account will support memorial foundation

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Bailey's family, which they say will be used to establish a memorial foundation in Tristyn's name. In the first week, the crowdfunding fundraising platform campaign had raised more than $52,000 from more than 1,400 donors. As of May 4, 2022, the campaign had raised more than $63,000.

St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick announces at a press conference held at his office in St. Augustine on Monday, May 10, 2021, the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.
St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick announces at a press conference held at his office in St. Augustine on Monday, May 10, 2021, the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.

Timeline: Events in the disappearance, death of Tristyn Bailey

Saturday, May 8

11:45 p.m.: Bailey family returns home after an evening out.

Around midnight: Tristyn Bailey last seen by a sibling and was supposed to be sleeping in her bedroom.

Sunday, May 9

12:30 a.m.: Video shows Tristyn walking in the neighborhood

1:14 a.m.: Two people, believed to be Tristyn and Aiden, were seen walking together

1:45 a.m.: Video evidence from a home shows Tristyn and Aiden walking east on Saddlestone Drive

3:30 a.m.: Video from the same home shows a person believed to be Aiden heading in opposite direction alone, carrying white Nike shoes. Moments, later, video shows Aiden entering his home carrying white Nike shoes

10 a.m.: Tristyn's mother calls 911 to report the teen missing. Florida Department of Law Enforcement joins search

4:49 p.m.: Florida Missing Child Alert issued for Tristyn

6:06 p.m.: A resident who had been on a run called to report a dead body in the woods east of the cul-de-sac on Saddlestone Drive. After identifying the body as Bailey's, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office calls off their search

8 p.m.: Sheriff's Office announces body found and preliminarily identified as Tristyn Bailey

8:49 p.m.: Aiden and his parents are placed in a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office interview room

Monday, May 10

12:44 a.m.: Investigators search Fucci home, finding a Buck brand knife sheath; a pair of wet, white Nike shoes with blood on them; a T-shirt with blood on it; a white piece of paper with handwriting with possible blood on it; and a pair of wet blue denim jeans in a laundry basket. They also find blood and dirt on the drain in the bathroom sink next to Aiden's bedroom.

3:30 a.m.: Aiden arrested on charge of second-degree murder

11:30 a.m.: Sheriff's Office confirms identity of body found as that of Tristyn Bailey and announces arrest of Aiden Fucci, a 14-year-old classmate, on charges of second-degree murder

8:30 p.m.: Candlelight vigil honors Tristyn at South Durbin Crossing Amenities Center

Tuesday, May 11

8:30 a.m.: Fucci charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tristyn Bailey remanded to detention for at least 21 days in his first court appearance

1:30 p.m.: Sheriff's Office reports that Chief Medical Examiner Predrag Bulic determined that the cause of Tristyn's death is sharp force trauma by stabbing and that video placed the pair walking near the scene in that time frame.

Monday, May 17

Anway "Andy" Snober, hired to represent the 14-year-old suspect by his family, files to withdraw from the case. A judge granted the motion.

Tuesday, May 18

5 p.m.: The Bailey family holds a public memorial service for Tristyn at Celebration Church in Jacksonville.

Thursday, May 20

Judge approves indigency motions filed on behalf of the parents of the 14-year-old suspect and announces the suspect will be represented by the public defender's office, led by St. Augustine-based attorney Joshua Mosley.

Thursday, May 27

According to St. Johns County court documents, Fuc will face a first-degree murder charge and will also be charged as an adult.

Friday, May 28

During a first court appearance hearing, Judge Henry Maltz rules that Aiden Fucci be held without bail at an adult facility in St. Johns County.

Thursday, June 3

Aiden Fucci enters a plea of not guilty on the first-degree murder charge.

Saturday, June 5

Crystal Lane Smith, the mother of 14-year-old Aiden Fucci, is arrested on a warrant charging her with tampering with evidence following the killing of Tristyn Bailey.

Wednesday, July 14

In newly released documents, one of Fucci's friends said he talked about killing people frequently, and that weeks before Bailey's killing, Fucci said he planned to murder someone by dragging a random person into the woods and stabbing them.

Monday, July 26

Crystal Lane Smith pleads not guilty to a charge of tampering with evidence

Thursday, Oct. 28

Aiden appears in court. Judge Lee Smith grants a continuance filed by Aiden's attorney, Joshua Mosely, until Feb. 2


Wednesday, Feb. 2

Aiden Fucci appears in St. Johns County court for a pretrial hearing. Trial set for November.


Aiden Fucci is expected in court on Friday, May 5, 2022 for a pre-trial hearing.

Other notable Jacksonville-area child abductions, murders

Nov. 6, 2019: Taylor Rose Williams, 5, is reported missing around 7:20 a.m. by her mother, Brianna Williams, at their Brentwood home. Days later, her remains were discovered in a wooded area between Demopolis and Linden, Ala., and her mother was arrested on charges of child neglect and giving false information to investigators.

July 24, 2015: Lonzie Barton, 21 months, is reported missing at 2:20 a.m. by William Ruben Ebron Jr., the boyfriend of his mother, Lonna Lauramore Barton. Ebron said his car, with Lonzie inside, had been stolen from his apartment building’s parking lot and he was unable to chase it down. But residential security video later surfaced showing him staging the car theft, police said. Ebron lead police to the toddler’s body on Jan. 11, 2016. Ebron is in prison until 2040; Lonna Lauramore Barton was sentenced to five years in prison for her role in Lonzie’s death and another seven years on a drug charge.

June 22, 2013: Cherish Perrywinkle, 8, is abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart, raped and murdered. Perrywinkle’s body was found hours later and Donald James Smith, 56, a sexual offender with a history of crimes against children, was arrested. Smith was found guilty on Valentine’s Day 2018 and sentenced to death in December 2018.

Feb. 10, 2010: Makia Ann Coney, 17, a student at University Christian School, is shot and killed by classmates Charles Roy Southern, 17, and Connor Julian Pridgen, 16, after school.

Oct. 19, 2009: Somer Thompson, 7, is last seen at 2:45 p.m. walking home from Grove Park Elementary School on Gano Avenue in Orange Park. Two days later, her body was found in a Georgia landfill. In March 2010, Jarred Harrell was arrested and charged with her murder. In February 2012, Harrell pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six life sentences.

Feb. 10, 2009: Haleigh Cummings, 5, is reported missing at 3:17 a.m. from her parents’ home in Satsuma in Putnam County. After more than a decade, she is still missing.

July 29, 2007: Tony Youmans, 12, is last seen at 4:30 p.m. on Hyde Park Road. He was found two days later in a nearby park dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities said he died “while playing around with the firearm.” Derrick Glover, 24, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling the gun that killed Youmans to him.

Nov. 3, 1998: Maddie Clifton, 8, is reported missing at 7 p.m. A week after disappearing, her body was found under the waterbed of her 14-year-old neighbor, Josh Phillips, by the boy’s mother. Phillips was arrested and charged with murder after telling police he accidentally hit Maddie with a baseball, then panicked because he feared getting in trouble. He said he then hit her with a bat and stabbed her to stop her screaming. Tried as an adult, Phillips was found guilty of murder in the first degree in July 1999 and sentenced to life in prison without parole a month later.

July 10, 1998: Kamiyah Mobley is abducted hours after her birth at University Medical Center by a woman posing as a nurse. Nearly 19 years later, on Jan. 13, 2017, Kamiyah was found alive and well, living in South Carolina with her abductor, Gloria Williams. Williams pleaded guilty in May 2018 and later sentenced to 18 years in prison.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Tristyn Bailey: What we know about death of St. Johns County teenager