A father of five has been arrested for allegedly raping and murdering seven-year-old Gabriella Doolin and dumping her body in a creek in Scottsville, Kentucky. Timothy Madden, 38, was detained on Friday 20 November on charges of kidnapping, rape, sodomy and murder.
The arrest comes a week after Gabriella's body was found in a wooded area near the location of her brother's youth football game on 14 November. She had been a spectator at the game before she went missing, sparking a search which included members of the community and Kentucky State Police. She was later found dead shortly after the search began.
During a search of Madden's house, police reportedly found some blood-stained clothes, according to the Daily Mail. In an interview with local news channel WDRB, Madden claimed the blood had appeared on his clothes after he brushed up against a fence. He later said the blood came to be on his clothes after he brushed past a trash bin.
He has continued to protest his innocence: "Well, if they find the right person, I will come out and I will, like I said, sue everybody that's slandering my name and put me where I am at today, because I am innocent – know I am. And everybody knows me, knows I am."
Madden, whose children are aged from four months to 20, attended the same high school as Gabriella's father, Brian Doolin. Madden's seven-year-old daughter used to practise cheerleading with the deceased.
State police announced the charges on Friday afternoon at a news conference, but said they could not release more details about the case saying the arrest came after a tremendous amount of teamwork.
Bereaved father, Doolin posted an emotional message on his Facebook page: "Please justice, take over for my baby, I love her so much... This animal should not be walking and breathing... I love yalls babies too, I wish this evil could be taking off this planet. I have made plenty of mistakes and sinned in my life, but NEVER have this kind of rage entered in to my heart.... I've tried to stay strong but my baby girl was always my weakness... #lovemybabies #lovemygabbigirl"