Katylnn Cargill, 14, of Bedford, was found dead in an Arlington landfill June 21. A 16-year-old teen is accused in the slaying. Bedford police Courtesy
Katylnn Cargill, 14, of Bedford, was found dead in an Arlington landfill June 21. A 16-year-old teen is accused in the slaying. Bedford police Courtesy

Northeast Tarrant

Teen detained in killing of Bedford girl with hammer makes first court appearance

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.


September 05, 2017 02:08 PM


A 16-year-old accused of using a hammer to kill a 14-year-old Bedford girl this summer was ordered Tuesday to remain in custody with juvenile authorities.

The teen, who stands just under 5 feet, 10 inches tall, wore handcuffs and a khaki juvenile detention shirt and pants while he made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon in the Scott D. Moore Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Worth.

The suspect showed little emotion Tuesday afternoon during the brief detention hearing before Judge Tim Menikos, as a probation officer read an arrest warrant affidavit detailing the brutal killing of Kaytlynn Cargill on June 19.

The 16-year-old’s mother and several family members and friends sat in the courtroom.

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Several times the youth shook his head no as the probation officer went over the 11-page warrant, particularly during a portion regarding an alleged attempt to create an alibi on the day Kaytylnn died.

The probation officer also noted that the teen had been involved in at least three other violent incidents since 2015.

Before Menikos reached his decision, the teen’s mother asked the judge to allow her son to come home and be in her custody.

“Why was he living with his girlfriend at that time?,” Menikos asked. The mother answered in a voice barely audible in the courtroom.

Menikos then ordered the teen, who faces a charge of delinquent conduct-murder, to remain in the custody of Tarrant County juvenile authorities. He was detained early Friday by Bedford police.

His mother and the teen’s attorney declined to comment after the hearing.

The teenager is not being identified by the Star-Telegram because he is a juvenile. He has been at the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Facility in Fort Worth since Friday.

The arrest warrant affidavit states that he is accused of killing Katylynn during an alleged $300 marijuana deal at the Oak Creek West Apartments, near Pennington Field in Bedford, where she lived with her parents.

DNA evidence and cellphone records linked the 16-year-old to Kaytlynn’s death, according to the arrest warrant.

Bedford police have declined to comment on the case, but in a Friday news release said they met with Kaytlynn’s family and told them the teenager was detained.

Kaytlynn’s body was found June 21 in a north Arlington landfill, two days after she went missing from the her family’s Bedford apartment. The Tarrant County medical examiner later ruled that she died of “homicidal violence,” but declined to provide details.

The teen told Bedford police he and Kaytlynn planned to meet at the apartment complex dog park on June 19, but that she never showed up, according to the warrant. He told investigators he did see Kaytlynn’s dog.

A witness told police that Kaytlynn went to the dog park that day to take part in a marijuana exchange with the suspect and his brother, according to the affidavit. She was going to make marijuana “dabs” — or cannabis concentrates — and sell it back to the suspect, the affidavit says.

The witness said he followed Kaytlynn because he was concerned for her safety. The witness later told Bedford police that the suspect had been aggressive and disrespectful to females, the affidavit states.

The witness saw Kaytlynn meet with the suspect, but she ran away because she saw the witness watching them, according to the warrant. The witness and Kaytlynn returned to Kaytlynn’s home, but Kaytlynn returned to the dog park about an hour later “to get the money,” according to the warrant.

The witness, who had tied up Kaytlynn’s dog at the dog park, went to play basketball and never saw her again, according to the warrant.

Officers began searching for the girl after she was reported missing about 8:15 p.m. on the same day. Bedford Police Chief Jeff Gibson had said that there was no evidence to suggest that Kaytlynn had been abducted or was in danger after she went missing, so an Amber Alert was not issued.

At the time, Gibson also said, “Our information ... does not indicate a further risk to our community.”

On Friday, Bedford police repeated that the community was not at risk.

The suspect had been staying with his girlfriend at the Bedford apartment complex for two weeks before Cargill was killed, according to the affidavit. Police investigators on June 25 found blood on several walls and other parts of the girlfriend’s apartment, as well as on the head of a hammer believed to be the murder weapon, the arrest warrant states.

DNA evidence confirmed that the blood matched Kaytlynn’s, the warrant says.

The suspect told Bedford police that on the evening of June 19, his uncle picked him up at his girlfriend’s Bedford apartment and he went to live with the uncle in Fort Worth, according to the affidavit.

Police obtained a search warrant on Aug. 2 for the Fort Worth man’s apartment and found 17 pieces of evidence, according to the arrest affidavit.

One was a handwritten note between the 16-year-old and his girlfriend, who was in Alabama on June 19. His girlfriend told Bedford police he was attempting to create an alibi with her and told her to write down times and things they would have been doing on that date, the warrant states.

The girlfriend also told Bedford police that the conversations about his alibi were over FaceTime because the suspect was worried that his telephone conversations were being intercepted, according to the affidavit.

Cellphone records showed deleted calls and texts between June 17 and 21 and cited abnormal cellphone behavior on the day Kaytlynn was killed, according to the arrest warrant.

Kaytlynn’s body was found in the Arlington landfill on June 21.

Officials with Republic Service Sanitation confirmed to detectives that the dumpsters at the Bedford apartment complex were picked up on June 21 and taken to the landfill, the affidavit states.

Teachers, students, friends and family gather at Central Junior High to remember Kaytlynn Cargill, the Bedford teen who was found dead at an Arlington landfill on Wednesday.


This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr