Two Niagara Falls teens are facing charges in the death of 5-year-old Isabella Tennant. John Freeman, 16, and Tyler Best, 18, were arrested Monday after Best went to police and led them to the location of Tennant’s body. According to police, Best said he helped Freeman hide the girl’s body in a garbage can after Freeman had killed her. Tennant had been sleeping over her great-grandmother’s house when she went missing. Authorities say she was killed without the use of weapons, and there is no indication of sexual abuse.
Both of the accused made their first court appearance today. Freeman is charged as an adult with second-degree murder; Best with evidence tampering. Neither entered a plea. They are expected to return to court on September 7. Tennant’s autopsy is scheduled to be performed Tuesday.
According to Niagara Falls Chief Detective William Thompson, Freeman was a friend of Tennant’s family. ”As far as we know, he was a trusted family friend,” Thompson said. “It’s a terrible crime. It tears at your heart.”