Alabama man with bondage fetish strangles 11-year-old girl to death, joins search party to mislead police
Details are beginning to emerge in the case of an 11-year-old Alabama girl who was found strangled to death on March 1, even as a judge deemed that prosecutors had sufficient evidence for the capital murder case against the defendant to proceed.
Defendant Christopher Wayne Madison, 33, was arrested and charged with capital murder in connection to the death of Amberly Barnett, with court documents saying that he misled officers during the initial search when the young girl was reported missing.
According to the Daily Mail, Amberly, who had been staying with her aunt in Collinsville, disappeared at around 6 pm on March 1, while her aunt and her boyfriend were out shopping, prompting law enforcement to launch a search for the 11-year-old.
Her body was found the next day, 200 yards into the woods behind her aunt's house.
Court documents state that, during the search, police went to talk to Madison, — who lived in a mobile home next door to Amberly's aunt and who was dating the aunt's boyfriend's sister— to ask him if they could search the wooded area behind his home.
Madison reportedly told them that wasn't necessary as he had already searched and had not found any signs of the girl.
People reported that Madison told the officers he had seen a Dark Dodge Durango lurking outside the girl's aunt's home before she vanished. That piece of information seemed to have been corroborated in a frantic Facebook post made by Amberly's mother, Jonie.
"Her phone was left behind and my baby takes it everywhere," she wrote. "Nothing in her phone indicated she was planning to leave! Amberly is the type to not do anything that she will get in trouble. She would not have run away or made plans to go off somewhere. A green SUV was seen leaving the driveway! [sic]"
However, none of the other neighbors who police interviewed had seen any such vehicle. As the search continued the next day, police found a piece of the 11-year-old's hair dangling from a tree branch. They returned to Madison's property and almost immediately found her body — with a blue rope still tied around her neck.
According to AL, detectives found clues in the woods which suggested Amberly had been dragged to the location. They also found stacks of evidence against Madison inside his home, including a bloodied pair of jeans, blood in the bathroom sink, parts of some walls on a mattress, a bed frame, and a sheet of paper.
They subsequently arrested the 33-year-old and charged him with capital murder in connection to Amberly's death.
In the most recent court hearing this Monday, where the new details emerged, a judge determined whether prosecutors had sufficient evidence for the capital murder case against the defendant to proceed. He ruled that they did.
Police have not yet discussed a motive for the murder but are said to have alleged that Madison has a bondage fetish, which would explain why Amberly was strangled to death.
If convicted of his charges, the 33-year-old faces either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.