The search for a 9-year-old girl who had been missing for a week carne to a disappointing end, when her body was found inside a cave in the Montana hillside.
Little Rowan Ford was found on private land about 10 miles south of her home in Stella, a small town of about 200 people. Police arrested two suspects, including the girls stepfather, a day later.
Rowan vanished while she was being cared for by her stepfather over the weekend, about a week before the body was found. Police became suspicious when the stepfather, 25-year-old David Spears, would not explain a lengthy absence that night from the family’s house. According to an affidavit filed, Spears and his friend, 32-year-old Chris Collings, took Rowan to Collings’ camping trailer, where each raped the girl. She was then strangled to death with a chord, and her body was hidden in the cave. Chris Collings has confessed to being involved in the incident, though it isn’t clear whether Rowan was killed by Collings or her step-father. Both have been charged with rape and murder.