This sad story caught my eye. It’s one of those things that leaves you wondering exactly what the hell happened, such is the sheer random dissonance of the event.
It took place in Claremont, California, a bedroom community in the foothills at the foot of Mt. Baldy, about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. I’ve had occasion to visit Claremont on personal business several times. It is a quiet, clean neighborhood. It is quite White, as well; it’s a far cry from my barrio neck of the woods that one would never use the words “quiet” or “clean” to describe, much less “White.”
It all began last evening, about 5pm, when Claremont police and Los Angeles County Fire responded to a 911 call regarding a girl bleeding.
After arriving at the scene, they found 15-year-old, Aspen Geurts, suffering a stab wound to her torso. Efforts to save her life proved futile and she was pronounced dead at the home. At the time, she was alone with her 14-year-old brother when the stabbing took place in the rear yard. He was later spotted by police walking away from the scene with a knife in his hands.
Officers located a 14-year-old boy walking from the residence and determined he was Guerts’ brother. After further questioning, he was arrested on suspicion of murder.
It’s unclear what motivated the killing, police said.
“The story is kind of shaky,” Ciszek said. “We only have his side of the story.”
There is a third sibling who was not at home at the time, Ciszek said. The children’s parents also were not home during the slaying; one was at work, and the other was out running errands, he said.
“By all accounts, it seems like they were a pretty tight-knit family. It’s just kind of a shock.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s crime scene investigation unit assisted with examining the home for evidence.
As of Thursday morning, the investigation of the scene has wrapped up, and officers are assembling the case, Ciszek said.
Aspen’s brother, and suspected murderer, is being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey. His name is being withheld since he is a minor.
This is the first murder to take place in that city since 2009…which tells us all we need to know about Claremont. It strikes me as a very family-oriented community with homes, schools, recreational sports leagues and churches. One can only ponder the circumstances that led to Aspen Geurts’ death; about the chain of events that led her brother (allegedly) to stab her to death while they were alone at home after school on a Wednesday evening.
Mysteries and secrets which will slowly unravel as details make themselves known.