BEAVERTON, Ore. — A teenage boy has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of 13-year-old Milana Li of Beaverton early this month, authorities revealed on Friday.
The suspect was charged in Washington County Juvenile Court on Friday morning, according to a brief news release from the Beaverton Police Department.
The department did not release the suspect's name or any other details about the case or the circumstances of how and when the suspect was taken into custody, citing the fact that the suspect is a juvenile.
The Oregonian was first to identify the suspect as 16-year-old Daniel Ryan Gore, who has a criminal history that includes pending charges of second-degree arson, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree theft. These facts have since been confirmed by the Washington County Juvenile Department.
Gore was placed on probation in February after another theft incident, the Oregonian reported, and the Washington County District Attorney's office recommended that he be held in a detention center, but he was instead released to his family in Salem on the recommendation of the Washington County Juvenile Department.
He subsequently ran away, and his father emailed the Juvenile Department on April 4 and said that Gore was likely staying in Beaverton. The Juvenile Department did not notify the District Attorney's office or Beaverton Police, the Oregonian reported.
"All clients under court supervision by the Juvenile Department undergo assessments that inform recommended interventions to the court," the agency said in a statement. "Under Oregon law, the results of assessments and other background information are confidential and privileged and thus cannot be shared with the public.
"It is these assessment findings, along with recommendations from the prosecution and the defense attorneys, that inform the court in setting the terms of probation. For Daniel Gore, these terms included releasing him to his home under the supervision of his parents. As reported by news media, prosecutors in this case recommended the juvenile be held in detention and not released."
Gore appeared in court by video on Friday, the Oregonian reported, and he did not speak during the hearing or enter a plea. The judge said he would remain in custody until his next court appearance.
Li was last seen in her apartment in the Murray Hill area in South Beaverton on the afternoon of May 8, and her mother reported her as missing the following day.
Beaverton police officers responded to a report of suspicious circumstances on the afternoon of May 11 and found Li's body in a small stream near Barrows Park in South Beaverton.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner ruled her death a homicide on May 11, but police did not release any further details about her cause of death.
The Friday police news release said the department received dozens of investigative tips from community members about Li's death and followed up on many leads.
Li was a 6th grader at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton. In the days following her death, a memorial began to grow on the sidewalk near the park, with people bringing flowers to pay their respects.
"The murder of Milana Li is deeply distressing for her family, friends and the entire community," the Washington County Juvenile Department said. "Our hearts go out to Milana’s loved ones and everyone affected by her death."
The Juvenile Department said that it would not comment further because Oregon law significantly limits what information can be shared in juvenile cases.