Teen Murdered 5-Year-Old Cousin, Claimed He Was Kidnapped

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A 19-year-old girl strangled her 5-year-old cousin who had been in her parents’ care, and then discarded his body along a road before calling in a false report that two intruders in mask took the boy from their Albany-area home. AP reports:

Tiffany VanAlstyne’s bogus 911 call on Thursday afternoon set off a search for Kenneth White that lasted into the night, authorities said. A search dog picked up a scent at about 9 p.m., and Kenneth’s body was found in a culvert, covered with snow VanAlstyne used in a bid to hide the crime, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

“We’re angry we had a 5-year-old taken from us, a senseless death,” he said. “It’s sinful and it’s sad.”

VanAlstyne was charged Friday with second-degree murder. She said nothing at her arraignment. She is due back in court on Tuesday for an initial hearing to enter a plea.

Apple declined to comment on a motive and said authorities believe VanAlstyne acted alone. VanAlstyne is represented by the Albany County Public Defender’s Office, which did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

VanAlstyne’s parents have been the legal guardians of Kenneth, his twin sister Cheyenne, and 4-year-old sister Christine since September, and the children had lived in the home for more than a year. Apple said he did not believe the other children were in the room where White was attacked.

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