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Arkansas teen tells investigators he killed sister

A 15-year-old described by a neighbor as a "nice young boy" showed up at a sheriff's department in rural Arkansas and told investigators he had shot and killed his 16-year-old sister in his family's home.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A 15-year-old described by a neighbor as a "nice young boy" showed up at a sheriff's department in rural Arkansas and told investigators he had shot and killed his 16-year-old sister in his family's home.

Authorities found the girl's body in a bedroom of the house near Ozark while the teens' parents were out grocery shopping, Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen said Monday.

Boen said he didn't believe the girl's death was accidental, although her brother appeared remorseful and had tears in his eyes when he turned himself in. Authorities are treating the death as a homicide.

"He just said that he had just shot and killed his sister," Boen said. "... He didn't give a motive."

The teens' names have not been released. The boy was in custody in nearby Sebastian County because Franklin County isn't set up to house juveniles, Boen said. He's expected to appear before a judge Tuesday, although no charges have been filed yet.

The teen likely killed his sister sometime after 8 a.m. Sunday, when his parents left to go grocery shopping in Fort Smith, about 40 miles away, Boen said. The boy turned himself in at the sheriff's department about an hour and a half later.

Deputies had never been called to the home and there weren't any reports of trouble with the teens, Boen said.

A neighbor described the family as "nice and quiet" and the boy as a "nice young boy." Donna Sheppard, who lives next to the family's home, said her grandson knew the boy from school.

"It's the most shocking thing I could have ever imagined," she said.

Sheppard said she didn't hear any gunshots before she left for Sunday school a little after 9 a.m., and learned about the shooting when she came home from church that afternoon.

The girl's body has been sent to the state crime lab, and preliminary autopsy results are expected sometime this week.

Investigators confiscated multiple guns from the family's home and vehicle and were trying to determine which weapon had been used in the shooting.

"Both the dad and the son were avid hunters," Boen said.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the case, but spokesman Bill Sadler declined to talk about it.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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