A teenager from Delaware has been charged with murder after he allegedly lured his classmate into the woods and beat her to death along with the girl’s ex-boyfriend, prosecutors said.
17-year-old Anika Stalczynski was arrested on Monday after the New Castle Grand Jury charged her with several charges – including first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during a crime and conspiracy – for the murder of Madison Sparrow on 2 October, according to the Delaware Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors say Stalczynski, along with Sparrow’s ex-boyfriend, 19-year-old Noah Sharp, conspired to lure the teen into the woods behind Maclary Elementary School before attacking her and fatally beating her with a metal baseball bat.
The grand jury also charged Sharpe, who was arrested a few days after Sparrow̵
“Every murder is a disgrace, but killing a child affects everything we think,” Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement. “Madison was stolen from her family and friends with her life and her dreams are still waiting for her. Hundreds of people who knew and loved this sweet, tender young woman were killed and severely traumatized. “
“My heart aches from Maddie’s parents, the Sparrow family and the whole Newark Charter community. “We can never replace what these people have lost, but we can – and will – make her killers responsible,” she added.
According to court documents, prosecutors say Sparrow, a junior at a charter school in Newark, was reported missing by his mother around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 2 after she did not return from a trip to the store with a friend.
The next day, police issued a gold alert for a sparrow, a notice usually sent when an adult, suicide bomber or person with a disability disappears. Investigators also spoke with friends and family, who revealed that the 17-year-old had gone “to an area in Newark where her ex-boyfriend Noah was.”
Authorities found an aluminum baseball bat, blood droplets and Sparrow’s clothes, according to court documents, when authorities went to the “wooded area” behind McLaree Elementary School.
Prosecutors say Sharpe used the bat to kill the Sparrow to death – and that Stalczynski planned the murder with the 19-year-old. An autopsy report confirms that Sparrow died of a head injury.
It is not clear why Stalczynski helped Sharpe in the heinous crime. But according to Attorney General AJ Roop, Stalczynski and Sparrow were high school classmates in Newark and had “known each other for some time.”
“I believe they have been in a relationship for several years,” Roop said, according to Delaware Online. “I will not go into much more than that, nor what the status is recently, but they were known and knew each other.”
When investigators questioned Sharpe on October 5, after his arrest, the 19-year-old admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend – confirming that he used the club to commit the crime, according to court documents. Sharpe added that after killing Sparrow, he moved her body to another “wooded area” about 20 minutes from elementary school along Route 896. Hours later, authorities found her body.
Sparrow’s death was met with an exclamation of support online, where hundreds sent their condolences and shared stories about the 17-year-old and her family. Two vigils were held in her honor, one in New Jersey and one in her high school, where hundreds of people gathered to honor the teenager, described by her grandfather as “wise beyond his age.”
“To think that such a bright light went out at such a young age is pointless,” Sparrow’s grandfather Tom Mason said at a vigil last month. “It was not a disease. It wasn’t even a car accident. It was an act of violence. This is unthinkable. “
Although prosecutors did not state in court documents why Sharpe wanted to kill his ex-girlfriend, they revealed that the 19-year-old admitted that the crime was intentional and that he and Stalczynski had killed Sparrow “in the afternoon / evening” on the day. which teenager disappeared.
On Tuesday, Jennings stressed that his cabinet could not reveal any possible motives or additional details about the serious crime, as prosecutors were “ethically restrained, with good reason.”
“We want to make sure that the rights to a fair trial are preserved and, frankly, we can’t imagine how painful that is for Madison’s family and friends,” Jennings said. We don’t want them to suffer anymore.