Aidan Zellmer Murders 10 Year Old Girl

Aidan Zellmer was fifteen years old from Colorado when he would beat to death ten year old Kiaya Campbell

According to court documents Aidan Zellmer was suppose to take Kiaya Campbell to the store but instead he would sexually assault and murder the ten year old girl. Kiaya Campbell body would be found the next day in a ditch and Aidan was soon being questioned by police. He attempted to tell the police that the little girl had run away but soon changed his story

Aidan Zellmer was initially charged with sexual assault however it would be dropped due to a guilty plea to first degree murder

Aidan Zellmer would be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for forty years

Aidan Zellmer Photos

Aidan Zellmer

Aidan Zellmer FAQ

When Is Aidan Zellmer Release Date

Aidan Zellmer is serving life in prison however is eligible for parole in 2057

Where Is Aidan Zellmer Now

Aidan Zellmer is currently incarcerated at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility

Aidan Zellmer Case

The teen who pleaded guilty to killing the 10-year-old daughter of his mother’s boyfriend in Thornton nearly two years ago was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

Aidan Zellmer, 17, pleaded guilty in Adams County District Court earlier this month to first-degree murder in the death of Kiaya Campbell. He initially was charged as a juvenile — he was 15 at the time of the murder — but his case was transferred to adult court.

A visibly emotional defense attorney spoke at the sentencing about Zellmer’s mental health issues, troubled family history and alleged abuse.

Zellmer’s sentence allows for the possibility of parole after 40 years, but with good behavior, he could get out in 30, Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said.

But Young and family members dismissed Zellmer’s past as an excuse for the killing of the 10-year-old girl. They instead spoke of a teenager who brutally beat the young girl to death, striking her five times, leaving her to die in a ditch and then misleading authorities and search teams about what happened to her.

Attorneys played a video with clips of Kiaya dancing and singing, and her mother Chantel Campbell said she had the video “everywhere” so she could watch it when she misses her daughter the most.

Kiaya’s family members wore teal and pink — the young girl’s favorite colors — as they sat behind prosecutors in the courtroom. Her mother and grandparents talked about her smile, her spirit and her goofiness.

Chantel Campbell said 40 years in prison is not enough, and though Zellmer may not have been fully grown and making appropriate decisions, she can’t understand what he did to her daughter and how he continued to lie about it.

“No mother should have to hear about how her daughter was brutally beaten,” she said.

Throughout court appearances, Campbell said, she watched as the defendant remained emotionless and did not take responsibility for his actions. But she added that she’s thankful the family doesn’t have to go through a trial.

Those sentiments were echoed by Kiaya’s grandparents, with her grandfather saying the child welfare system may have failed Zellmer, but it, in turn, failed the Campbell family, too.

Julie Beery said if it were up to her, Zellmer would have faced the death penalty.

“We only got 10 years (with Kiaya),” she said. “Ten wonderful years, but that’s not enough and not for this reason.”

Young told the judge that Zellmer needs to take accountability, something he has yet to do. Zellmer is not the victim, Young said, but everyone in the courtroom and the community is by his actions.

Judge Sharon Holbrook told Kiaya’s family members that she knew nothing she could say would heal the hurt, but she hoped the way the community came together to help find Kiaya and remember her would bring them some solace.

She then directed her words toward Zellmer and said only he could define who he is going to become and whether he will “prove everyone wrong,” but that will require accountability and work.

Many of the details of the case were sealed until Monday because the investigation involved juveniles.

When Kiaya was first reported missing on June 7, 2017, Zellmer led investigators to incorrect areas, according to arrest documents, saying the pair had gotten split up during a thunderstorm in Thornton.

They had left a home in 12400 block of Forest Drive in Thornton where Kiaya’s father lived with his girlfriend and her two sons. Zellmer and Kiaya were reported missing by Zellmer’s mother, according to arrest documents.

Zellmer was located and told police he was going to steal Pokemon cards for Kiaya after he damaged some of hers. They were unable to steal any cards, according to his interview with police, and as they were walking back, Zellmer and Kiaya got in an argument about whether to walk back or wait out the storm.

They stayed, he told investigators, and then began walking back when the storm started to die down. At one point, he said he turned around noticed that he had lost Kiaya, so he began looking for her.

“Aidan was told his story did not make sense and he kept telling us that is what happened,” the document stated. “I asked Aidan if he did something to (redacted) and he denied it.”

Community search teams and law enforcement officials searched for the young girl after an Amber Alert was issued. Her body was found a day later in a greenbelt area about 1½ miles from where her family said she had disappeared.

When Zellmer was told Kiaya’s body was found, he cried and told investigators that he didn’t hurt her, but he left her because she was being annoying, according to arrest documents.

Following evidence collection, testing and an autopsy, investigators linked the murder to Zellmer.

The murder weapon was never recovered, but Zellmer had told others he used a metal object to beat Kiaya, Young said. Investigators cited strong DNA evidence that linked Zellmer to the crime.

Young said a clear motive for the crime hasn’t been established because only Zellmer can say why he committed it — and he hasn’t.

Although Zellmer was initially facing sexual assault charges, those were dropped as part of the plea deal, which also allowed him to participate in a rehabilitation program for young adults convicted of murder. Young said the evidence for those charges was not as strong as the homicide charges.

Until he turns 18, Zellmer will not be placed with adults in the Department of Corrections.

Teen who killed 10-year-old Kiaya Campbell in Thornton in 2017 sentenced to life with parole

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