St. Johns County detectives investigating the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey not only found bloody clothes and sneakers in the bedroom of her accused killer, Aiden Fucci, but also a notebook containing “drawings of a violent nature.”
Among the drawings referenced in reports made available Wednesday was an illustration that “depicted a Satanic element to them, to include a pentagram.” Another drawing showed a nude female with red X’s over her breasts and genitals, and what appeared to blood coming from several wounds.
When 14-year-old Fucci was put into a sheriff’s office interrogation room and told by his parents that Bailey was dead and he was the last person seen with her, he replied, “How is that my problem?”
Later in the interview, the report said Fucci admitted that he kissed Bailey and when she reacted by grabbing him, he pushed her down and she hit her head. He said that he then walked away.
Toxicology found no indication of sexual assault, although there were handprints found on Bailey’s thighs that were not hers.
The autopsy confirmed what State Attorney R.J. Larizza said last month: that Bailey was stabbed 114 times -- at least 35 wounds are over the head and neck” -- and that many of the wounds were “defensive in nature.”
According to Larizza, Fucci’s knife was found in a pond in close proximity to Bailey’s body. The tip of that knife, he said, had broken off and was found by the medical examiner in Bailey’s body, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.
“The bottom line is that premeditation could be inferred, certainly from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer,” Larizza said. “To say that it was horrific could arguably be made as an understatement.”
That’s one of the reasons Larizza cited as why Fucci will be tried as an adult for first-degree murder.
“I hope that parents will learn something from this, this vicious and brutal murder, and that is that you need to know what your kids are doing and what they are saying,” Larizza said. “Because while we might not be able to stop these brutal and vicious murders from happening, we ought to at least try.”
Fucci’s girlfriend told one investigator that Fucci would hear voices in his head when he was angry. She said the voices would tell him he was worthless and a disappointment, even telling him to kill people.
She said that on occasion, Fucci would surprise her from behind and put the knife to her throat and pretend to slit it. He even had nicknames for his two knives: “Picker” and “Poker.”
She told detectives that less than a month before Bailey was killed, Fucci had told her he was going to kill someone, that was going to find a person walking at night, drag them into the woods and stab them.
She said Fucci knew something was wrong with him and wanted to reach out for help.
When Fucci was in the back of a St. Johns County deputy’s cruiser before he was arrested, he called his girlfriend to say he was going to “plead the Fifth.”
Dr. Stephen Bloomfield is a forensic psychologist who specializes in violent outbursts.
“Something happened. There was a click of rage or something where he couldn’t control his impulse. Or he was, has a mental illness,” Bloomfield said.
St. Johns County detectives said none of Fucci’s prior threats prior were reported to authorities.
“If someone had spoken up, this possibly could have been avoided,” said Ken Jefferson, News4Jax crime and safety expert. “Maybe they could have gotten to him in time to get inside of his head to see what’s making him tick.”
According to the warrant affidavit from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Fucci was interviewed by detectives investigating Bailey’s disappearance the morning of May 9.
At 1:45 a.m., the warrant states, two people believed to be Bailey and Fucci were seen walking east along Saddlestone Drive. It states that surveillance video at 3:27 a.m. recorded a person believed to be Fucci walking alone west on Saddlestone Drive and carrying a pair of white Nike shoes.
Bailey’s body was found later that day -- Mother’s Day -- near a retention pond in a cul-de-sac in the Durbin Crossing subdivision, less than a half-mile from Fucci’s home, according to an arrest report. The discovery was made by a neighbor out for a walk around 6 p.m., roughly eight hours after Bailey’s family called 911 to report her missing.
Attorney weighs in on the case
News4Jax spoke with a local attorney who said the new information released Wednesday sets up a long, grueling court case for both the prosecution and the defense.
He said there are some details in the court documents about Fucci’s state of mind that may come into play.
“First and foremost Erik you’re dealing with a juvenile here,” said defense attorney John Holzbaur.
Holzbaur, who is not affiliated with the case, said the case involves a child murder suspect who, on paper, appears to have a lack of self-awareness and is probably not mature enough to fully understand the consequences of the charges he faces. He also said statements in court documents suggest Fucci could have mental health issues.
“It opens the door for many defenses to come in on this young man’s behalf,” Holzbaur said.
Holzbour said a lot will happen before this case goes to trial.
“Evaluations are certainly going to happen here,” he said. “Psychological screenings and the like. Full analysis of this young man’s background and environment will come into play.”