As the investigation continues into the death of Kami Ring, the 10-year-old girl whose body was found near Port Deposit on Monday, friends, relatives and neighbors remembered her as a quiet, nice little girl who was devoted to her two siblings.
More than 200 people attended a vigil in the girl's memory held next to water in Charlestown on Wednesday night.
Kami lived in the 600 block of Bladen Street in Charlestown. She recently completed the fourth grade at Charlestown Elementary School, which she attended with her younger half-brother Joe and half-sister Elizabeth.
"Nobody referred to them as half and steps," said Kami's great aunt, Nancy Flemming of Bensalem, Pa., outside of Philadelphia. "That was her brother and sister."
Flemming said Kami and her brother and sister would come to visit her and her husband Robert and other relatives in Pennsylvania a few times a year.
"I have good memories and I just know she was very caring to Joey and Elizabeth and always watched over them," Flemming said.
Neighbor Ann Holloway, who also works at Charlestown Elementary, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that Kami would often greet her when coming home with her brother and sister.
"She would just say, 'Hi Miss Holloway,' " she recalled.
Holloway described Kami as "a very quiet, very nice little girl" when at school and in the neighborhood.
"Everybody's in shock, can't believe it," Holloway said of the community reaction. "It's just so very sad; it's just unbelievable."
Kami had been staying at a home in the 100 block of Waibel Road, just north of Port Deposit, where her body was found in a field near a shed Monday evening.
The window of the bedroom where she was supposedly sleeping was found open about 7 inches, with the screen pushed out, Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said Wednesday. She would not say whether kidnapping was suspected, however.
"We certainly think there was foul play involved," Russo said.
Although a suspect was taken into custody, no charges have been filed.
Russo said she did not know how long Kami had been visiting the three residents of the home, two of whom she knew as her "grandparents," although they were not biologically related.
A third person in the home, whom Russo identified as 29-year-old Richard Madden, the couple's son. Russo confirmed Madden was arrested Monday, the same day Kami's body was found, and charged with possessing marijuana, other drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Russo would not say if Madden is the person in custody or if anyone in the home was suspected in the murder. Maryland online court records indicate Madden was still being held at the Cecil County Detention Center in Elkton late Wednesday afternoon on $10,000 bail from the drug charges.
Russo said investigators are waiting for forensics and are hoping the results would come in Friday. Kami's body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Investigators seemed to have taken a break from combing the area around Waibel and Dr. Jack roads by Wednesday morning. The area was empty of cones, tape or other signs of police activity.