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MADERA, California (KGPE) – The Madera Couty Sheriff’s Department arrested a suspect in after a 16-year-old Madera County girl’s death, police say.

Authorities arrested, Codi Slayton, 19, in Oceanside and is now behind bars in Madera County.

The Sheriff’s Office says their break in the investigation into the death of 16-year-old Josephine Jimenez happened in December thanks to the help of federal law enforcement.

“During their investigation into an independent manner and NCIS investigators identified the subject they believed may be connected with our case with Miss Jimenez,” Madera County Sheriff-Coroner, Jay Varney said,

Josephine, 16, was a junior at Madera High School when she died. Her body was found on a rural property in southern Madera County in October.

Sheriff Varney said that through their investigation, Madera County Sheriff’s Detectives learned that Slayton may have used social media like an online predator.

“Slayton used social media applications to generate and maintain communication not only with Josephine but with young girls throughout California and possibly other regions of the United States,” Authorities said.

The Sheriff’s Office believes he and Josephine may have known each other before the night of her death.

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