MADERA, California (KGPE) -The bail for the former marine that is being held on murder charges for a Madera County girl has now jumped to $5 million dollars, authorities say.
Authorities say, Cody Slayton, 19, is accused of murder in the death of 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez who was found dead in an orchard in October.
NCIS arrested Slayton in Oceanside, near San Diego on an unrelated investigation.
“Based on the case the NCIS is involved in This seems to be something more along the lines of an online predator,” Jay Varney, with the Madera County Sheriff says.
Josephine’s family put out a statement on Friday:
“The Jimenez family wants to thank federal authorities, local authorities, and Madera county sheriff’s office detectives for their hard work in the capture of the person responsible for Josephine’s death. We are still mourning the loss of our daughter Josephine and look forward to justice for Josephine.”
Authorities say Josephine and Slayton both went to Madera High School. Josephine was a junior and Slayton graduated from 2018.
Authorities believe that Josephine and Slayton knew each other when Slayton lived in Madera.
Madera sheriff’s office says evidence uncovered shows that Slayton may have used social media to gain and maintain contact with Jimenez, and possibly several other girls in California.
“So my guess is, somehow he had a method to contact her – as most predators do. Struck up some kind of conversation and then the resulting crime occurred at some point after that,” Varney says.
The Madera Unified School District released a statement offering sympathy to Josephine’s family:
“The families touched by this tragic loss especially need our support and compassion. We have school counselors and psychologists available for students and staff for support.”
Slayton’s mother says her family has no comment at this time.