http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=8136569Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush tells Action News new DNA tests were taken to Fresno where they'll be analyzed to see if Sophia may have been sexually abused.
http://www.cbs47.tv/news/local/story/Sophias-Family-Responds-to-Boyfriends-Interview/FhadyX75HkOnQbn0kvJoOA.cspxSophia's great-grandmother watched our interview with Chris Cheary. "He can lie on tv all he wants to. But he's looking around his back, making sure nobody's after him. He's a liar from the pits of hell," said Ruth Williams, Sophia's great-grandmother. . . .
But she insists her granddaughter was a good mother. She says she asked Ericka to stop seeing Cheary.
"If she had done what I told her to do, asked her to do, begged her to do, this never would have happened. And that's the blame I put on Ericka," Williams said.
Cheary told us he fears for his safety. Williams said - he should. "You bet ya he does. You bet ya. Every gang member in Tulare County is looking for him," according to Williams.
Why are gang members looking for him? Williams says Sophia's biological father was a gang member in Tulare County
http://www.thesungazette.com/articles/2011/05/18/news/news01.txtMother and daughter Carolyn and Shannon Johnson also attended the vigil. The two saw Sophiaâ€™s mother Erika Smith days after Sophia was hospitalized.
â€œShe said they had rushed Sophia to the hospital because she had choked on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but it was confusing because she said they had bathed her before they took her to the hospital,â€ said Carolyn. â€œI just couldnâ€™t believe she was telling me all this. I wouldnâ€™t be standing there if my child was in the hospital. Iâ€™d be at my babyâ€™s side.â€
Great grandmother Ruth Williams said she believes Smithâ€™s boyfriend Chris Cherry is responsible for Sophiaâ€™s death. Williams said after Smith began dating Cherry in November she noticed several suspicious things including bruises and bumps, as well as the fact that Sophia didnâ€™t want to return home.
â€œSheâ€™d beg and plead to stay with me and say â€˜can I just stay with you, I donâ€™t want to go home,â€ said Williams. â€œI asked her if he [Cherry] ever hit her and she said once he did. But I noticed bruises on both girls regularly.â€
Williams said she called the police multiple times, begged Smith to leave Cherry and is upset that CPS did not remove the children from the apartment. Williams said the suspicions reached a boiling point when she and Cherry had an altercation a week before Sophia was hospitalized. It was here that Williams said Cherry pulled a knife on her. Williams said she has not spoken with Erika or her daughter since Sophiaâ€™s death.
EXETER — Police Chief Cliff Bush sat at his home computer this week and looked through dozens of Facebook comments and photos dedicated to a 3-year-old girl who died more than two weeks ago.
http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011105270331"The feelings are so strong that they drive us to not give up," Bush said. "Our detectives have worked hundreds of hours, but we're not going to rush this."
http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=8167824&hpt=ju_bn6FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Christopher Cheary will face murder and sexual assault charges in the Sophia Acosta child murder case.
Three weeks after a young South Valley girl was brutally beaten to death, police have arrested the boyfriend of the child's mother.
Friday, the Tulare County District Attorney's office said Christopher Rey Cheary will be arraigned on Monday, June 6th at 1:10 p.m. Cheary will face charges of murder, felony assault on a child causing death, sodomy on a child under 14 years old, and felony sodomy.
Exeter Police arrested 20-year old Christopher Cheary around 6 p.m. Thursday night in Stanislaus County. Cheary is accused in the murder of three-year-old Sophia Acosta last month. He was escorted by officers to be booked in the Tulare County Jail early Friday morning.
The reaction has been strong in the town of Exeter which has been the scene of numerous vigils since this crime first came to light. When they heard news of Chris Cheary's arrest, several community and family members gathered at Triangle Park to light candles and at the police station to hear what detectives had to say about the case.
Sophia Acosta's great grandmother was overcome with emotion when she heard Chris Cheary, Acosta's mother's live-in boyfriend, had been arrested for the three-year-old's murder.
"She loved me and I loved her and she never wanted to go home she wanted to stay with me all the time and until he come along she was at my house every day," said Ruth Williams, Sophia's great grandmother, "I'm happy they arrested him that's where he belongs but it's only just begun."
News of the arrest spread quickly around a town waiting weeks for justice for the little girl.
"I'm not shocked because we knew it... it's upsetting, still it's one closer to justice, one step closer," said Cheyenne McDonald of Exeter.
Exeter Police officers found Sophia Acosta unresponsive in an Exeter apartment on May 7th. She died four-days later in Children's Hospital in Madera County. Autopsy results show she was physically abused. Investigators are still waiting on lab results to see if she may have been sexually abused as well.
Family members had been notified a day before that an arrest was planned. "We had people stomping their feet want an arrest... We'd much rather a good arrest than a quick arrest," said family member Nick Williams.
Exeter Police thanked the family and the community for their patience all along. "We did an intense investigation... that's why it took so long. We thank the public and the City of Exeter for being patient with us, and the family for being patient with us, while we did our investigation," said Sgt. Celis Rabena.
Sophia's mother, Erika Smith, remains a person of interest in this case.
Community members will be gathering here in Triangle Park once again Friday night at 6 p.m. to hold another candlelight vigil. They hope the gathering and this arrest brings a sense of closure for the South Valley city.
Sophia Acosta's father, Obie Acosta, came to Exeter once he heard the news of Chris Cheary's arrest. "Right now there's a lot of emotions going through my head. Right now and just to know that he's right here, it's kind of getting to me but I'm just glad that they got him in custody already."
Obie said he and Sophia's mother, Erika Smith, have another child together. That child remains with Child Protective Services.
The criminal complaint against Christopher Cheary reveals he is facing four felony counts including murder and sexual assault. Some of the charges carry special allegations that mean he could face the death penalty if he's convicted.
The district attorney's office has also filed a charge of murder with a special allegation that Cheary tortured Sophia Acosta. Investigators say the "torture" allegation refers to the number of injuries the three-year-old sustained.
We have noticed that an inordinant number of these child abusers, killers, molesters seem to have funky facial hair. Many who didn't before, grow it in jail. The ones who grow it in jail, we surmise, are growing it for the "pleasure" of their sugar daddies.[MENTION=3446]Tundratot[/MENTION] - god, Im sorry, but whats the deal with chin pubes? What is it that it symbolizes? lol! Im serious!
Oh, and little Sophia is showing off her silver capped teeth, which is usually done when the baby teeth are injured or rotting.
Just looking at those photos pisses me off.
Actually having tooth decay at that age in front is usually caused by milk rot. (when a child is put to sleep with bottle of milk all the time) When a child has milk rot, a dentist usually drills, fills, and caps the baby teeth so they don't destroy the adult teeth. This is not considered abuse. They can't do anything, she took her child to the dentist to have the matter taken care of.Sophia teeth are a disgrace why the hell did the authority's not do anything when they seen them?