EMMETT — The body of a young girl, believed to be the 8-year-old missing since Monday, was recovered by law enforcement officials Thursday afternoon, near the area where the missing girl was reportedly last seen.
Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder issued a statement Thursday evening saying that pending an official coroner’s identification, it is believed that the body of Taryn Summers was found during a property search conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies.
Wunder stated that a suspect had been arrested Thursday afternoon in Ada County, believed to be involved with the case.
According to KTVB, though Wunder did not give information on the identity of the suspect, 54-year-old Connie Ann Smith, who owns the home where the body was found, was booked into the Ada County Jail by Idaho State Police on an out-of-county warrant for first-degree murder.
Summers had been reported missing Monday afternoon and early speculation had been that it might be a runway situation. Her older brother, 17-year-old Tristan Sexton, had disappeared in September 2020 and her sister, 14-year-old Taylor Summers, was reported missing in October 2020.
The older two children were reported as runaways in September and October 2020. The focus of recent efforts had been on locating Taryn who was reported missing late afternoon on Monday. On Wednesday, search efforts were renewed in an area along Airport Road just south of Cascade Road on Thursday, leading to the discovery of the body.
Gem County Sheriff’s Office release information late Wednesday stating that Tristan and Taylor continued to be identified as runaways and have had frequent contact with family members. Wunder indicated Thursday evening that the two older children have been in contact with law enforcement; they are not considered to be in danger nor considered to be involved with Taryn’s disappearance at this time.
The public is invited to a candlelight prayer vigil for Taryn Summers at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Roy A. Bowman Family Memorial Park in Emmett, according to KTVB. Candles will be provided.
“We are deeply saddened by (this) news and we extend our condolences to the family and friends of Taryn,” Emmett School District Superintendent Craig Woods said in a statement released Friday. “She was a student within the Emmett School District. We will have counselors available today and in the coming days and weeks to meet with students and staff grieving this sad loss.”