But she didn't return, and the girl's mother said she got several cryptic calls from one of the young suspects, first telling her that Monae was on her way home, and then inquiring if she had made it. Moran said Tuesday that on some of the calls, the boy simply said he was calling to say "Hi."

She called police, and an officer went to the house on Cliftview, knocked on the door but reported no one home.

Relatives then mounted their own search, and Monae's brother found her body in the alley behind the house on Cliftview.

Prosecutors said that after Monae was shot, the first thing the older suspect did was stash the gun back where he found it. Then the two boys moved her body out of the house. The shooter's DNA was found on the gun, and both of the boys' DNA was found on the girl's body.

Attorneys for the boys, Jonas Needleman and Jonathan Hoover, declined to comment on behalf of the suspects and their families.

Monae's relatives said the shooting may have been an accident, but the boys' actions afterward were inexcusable, particularly because they had been good friends with the girl.

"He ate at my daughter's house," Monae's grandmother, Nellie Wright, said of the younger suspect. "We fed him, took him to the park, played games with him. I don't understand how someone who was part of our family could do something so rotten to our little girl."

jfenton@baltsun.com

phermann@baltsun.com


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