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We really, REALLY have to do better by our kids.

The body of 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera was found Monday afternoon in a metal trash bin, the GBI said. Jorelys, who had been missing since Friday, had been severely beaten and sexually assaulted, according to Vernon Keenan, director of the GBI.

Investigators believe Jorelys was killed at the Canton apartment complex where she lived, Keenan said. But so far, police do not have any suspects or anyone in custody, he said.

“The FBI and the GBI will now focus on a murder investigation,” Keenan said.

On the fourth day of the search for Jorelys, a 50-member team made up of GBI agents, Georgia State Patrol troopers, Department of Natural Resources rangers and other state officers specially trained in child abductions was brought in Monday to assist local police and firefighters. Police said they believed they were working a child abduction case.

Searchers combed the apartment complex, checking every vehicle for any clues to the girl’s whereabouts. The parking lot of a nearby movie theater served as the command center for search efforts, which included a state patrol helicopter Monday.

But just hours after state and national search crews had joined in the search for the girl, the massive effort ended with Keenan’s announcement. The girl’s body was found around 12:30 p.m., he said.

Jorelys disappeared around 5 p.m. while she took a break from playing at the River Ridge complex on River Ridge Drive, police said. She reportedly told other children she was going inside to get drinks, but never returned.

The girl’s mother was inside while the child played outside, but a teenager was supposed to have been watching Jorelys, Lt. Jeff Hall with the Canton police department said Monday.

Poor little Jorelys. We hope her mother can at least find closure with the capture of the people responsible for ending her little life so soon.

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