Aiden Fucci: What we know about teen murder of Florida teen Tristyn Bailey

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YouRistyn Bailey was supposed to help prepare a special Mother’s Day breakfast for mom Stacey on the day she went missing on May 9, 2021.

Recalling the day at a memorial service exactly one year laterher father Forrest said that Tristyn’s sister, Sophia, had already started preparing the meal before noticing something was wrong.

“Shortly after, our day was shattered,” Forrest Bailey told the service, according to WJXT-TV.

The family reported Tristyn, a 13-year-old seventh-year student at Patriot Oaks Academy, reported missing around 10 a.m. to the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office who issue an urgent missing person alert.

The alert said Tristyn was last seen at 1.15am that day at the Durbin Amenity Center in northwest St Johns County, wearing a white cheerleader skirt and a dark shirt.

Her body was found around 6 p.m. that night near a retention pond at the end of Saddlestone Drive, south of Jacksonville.

She had been stabbed 114 times, the sheriff’s department would later say, including 49 defensive stab wounds to the arm and right hand.

Tristyn is seen in her joyful uniform

(Bailey family)

Sheriff Rob Hardwick said The file of Saint Augustine It was a gruesome and brutal murder.

“I hate to use words, but – it’s our worst nightmare,” he said.

Almost two years later, Tristyn’s classmate Aiden Fucci pleaded guilty to her murder in February. He is now in the middle of the sentence, where he faces 40 years to life in prison.

Here’s everything you need to know about the spooky case:

snapchat selfies

Aiden Fucci, a 14-year-old classmate who lived half a mile from where the body was found, was arrested that night while the search for Tristyn was still underground.

While sitting in the back of a patrol car, he took a selfie and posted it on Snapchat.

“Hey guys, has anyone seen Tristyn lately,” the caption read.

The state’s attorney’s office later released multiple Snapchat videos taken and uploaded while Fucci was in the police vehicle.

“We’re having fun, fucking in a cop car,” Fucci said, looking at the camera and smiling.

In another Snapchat video, Fucci appears to be alone in the police car and says, “Guess who’s in that fucking police car… tripping, man.”

Aiden Fucci pleaded guilty at the start of his first-degree murder trial for the death of Tristyn Bailey

(WJXT News4Jax (screenshot))

The St Johns County Sheriff’s Office will later release CCTV footage of Fucci walking with the 13-year-old girl the night she was killed. He was later seen in footage running by himself.

On the evening of Fucci’s arrest, investigators searched his home and found a sheath of a Buck knife in his bedroom, along with white Nike shoes with bloodstains, a T-shirt with blood on it; a piece of white paper with possible blood on it.

Fucci was charged with second degree murder and was held without dancing.

A Buck knife recovered from a pond near where Bailey’s body was found matched his stab wounds.

“The defendant’s story has changed several times but [he] eventually made several confessions,” according to an arrest report obtained by The Florida Times Union.

Her mother Crystal Smith was later accused of tampering with evidence for allegedly washing blood off her jeans.

According to an arrest warrant, a surveillance camera inside the house recorded Ms Smith washing the jeans and traces of blood were also found in a sink.

About three weeks after his arrest, the charges were later upgraded to first degree murder.

“The bottom line is that premeditation could be inferred, certainly from the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey must have suffered,” State’s Attorney RJ Larizza said, explaining the decision to increase the charges.

disturbing fantasies

A report released by the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office in July 2021 revealed that Fucci had told friends he was fantasizing about murder and mayhem.

“He said he wanted to slit someone’s throat, he said it would be satisfying,” a friend told deputies, according to First Coast News.

Aiden Fucci, in an arrest photo on the left, and in CCTV footage walking with Tristyn Bailey the night she was murdered

(St Johns County Sheriff’s Office)

“He talked about killing people, he talked about fighting people. I saw him practice stabbing with his knife. And I mean, you really don’t take any of that stuff like in: He’s gonna stab and kill somebody. Because he’s just a child. We are all just children.

An unnamed teenager identified as Fucci’s “best friend” said his violent obsessions were a way to cope with his abusive and neglectful home life.

The friend said Fucci had been a heavy cannabis smoker.

During his 20 months in the Duval County jail awaiting trial, Fucci got into several fights, threatened to stab another teenage inmate and was pepper sprayed by corrections officers, according to First Coast News.

A fellow inmate said he bragged about ‘stabbing a **** in the face’.

The confessions of a killer

On February 6, 2023, the first day of his murder trial, Fucci pleaded guilty to first degree murder.

“I just want to apologize to the Bailey family,” Fucci, now 16, told the court.

The guilty plea was not negotiated with prosecutors, St. Johns County Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith said.

In fact, prosecutors had already rejected several plea deals made by the defense, one of the teenager’s lawyers said in court.

Some members of Bailey’s family walked out of the courtroom in tears after the plea change at the 11th hour, according to WJXT-TV.

Sheriff Hardwick said in a statement afterwards that the guilty plea was a sign of the damning evidence investigators had gathered.

He also paid tribute to the Bailey family.

“Their strength and grace throughout this matter has been incredible. This agency will forever be connected to the Bailey family and this community will forever be #BaileyStrong,” he said.

Fucci’s sentencing began on March 21. He faces 40 years to life behind bars.

Remembering Tristyn

Hundreds of residents dressed in aqua, teal and turquoise colors for a vigil a year after Tristyn’s death in May 2022, according to WJXT-TV.

Her former cheerleading teammates wore t-shirts that read, “We’re cheering on Tristyn.”

Tristyn’s family, known as the Bailey 7, released a statement saying they were working on several initiatives to honor her memory.

These included aligning with youth mental health programs and hosting awards in Tristyn’s name for her former cheerleading and lacrosse teams.

“Through acts of kindness and love as a community, together we can cast out evil,” the family statement read.

The family released a new statement ahead of Fucci’s sentencing, which featured never-before-seen photos of the beloved teenager.

Tristyn with her family in new photos

(Bailey family)

“For her family, Tristyn has fulfilled every role to the full. As the baby of the family, she is cherished in every way,” says the family.

“She was absolutely adored by her grandparents and spent a lot of time with them, even managing to get more attention from her grandfather as a baby than any sibling before her.

“As a daughter, Tristyn always exceeded the expectations that were placed in front of her. She was dedicated and thoughtful. Stacy and Tristyn enjoyed many memories of the happy weekends and maintained a close bond.

And they added“Tristyn’s best role may have been as a sibling. She always knew how to dialogue with each of them. When one of them had something to do, she was the first to accompany them.

“Brittney and Tristyn, despite being 16 years apart, were best friends and kindred spirits. She and Alexis shared their deep love of animals and spent a lot of time with Alexis being almost a 2nd mum.

“As an only sibling, Teegan has a special bond with each of his sisters and Teegan was able to bring out the serious side of Tristyn. They talked about goals and aspirations and described the work to accomplish them.

“Sophia and Tristyn were easily described as the ying/yang relationship. From the moment Tristyn entered the world, they spent all of their time together and were best friends.

And the family concluded their tribute, saying: “Tristyn has made an incredible impact in 13 years and it’s a travesty not to see what she would have done. We remain forever, Tristyn Bailey Strong!

Aiden Fucci: What we know about teen murder of Florida teen Tristyn Bailey

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