Aiden Fucci - The Boy Murderer Of St. Johns County
Tristyn Bailey, a seventh-grader at Patriot Oaks Academy in Saint Johns, was discovered dead hours after her family reported her missing on Sunday, May 9, 2021. She had 114 stab wounds.
Aiden Fucci, who was 14 at the time of Tristyn's death, has been charged with first-degree murder in her killing. In November, his trial is expected to begin.
Neighbors exhibited their real colors as a community in the early minutes after hearing the news.
Some people hurried to the streets to form search crews, exploring the area's ponds and woodlands for signs of the missing 13-year-old girl.
Others formed phone chains, asking parents and children if they had any information on her whereabouts.
And now, a year after Tristyn Bailey was stabbed to death on May 9, 2021, her neighbors have rallied around her family and offered support in their grief.
Aiden Fucci, 15, is accused of killing Tristyn, a neighbor in the Durbin Crossing neighborhood of northwest St. Johns County, in the first degree.
Tristyn, a student at Patriot Oaks Academy, where Fucci was also a student, was discovered in a forested area near her home less than 24 hours after she went missing. She had 114 stab wounds.
From holding a candlelight vigil the day Tristyn's body was discovered to organizing meal trains so the family wouldn't have to worry about cooking, the community has rallied together in big and small ways. Bailey has three older sisters and one older brother.
Courtney Drury, the Baileys' next-door neighbor, described the Durbin Crossing community as "extremely tight-knit."
The circumstances could have ripped locals apart or drew them together because two families were affected by the tragedy in the same town.
Fucci lived less than a mile away from Tristyn, and the two were seen together on surveillance video at the subdivision's leisure center around 1:15 a.m. the morning she went missing.
According to Sheriff Rob Hardwick of St. Johns County, this is what makes the issue so challenging.
In a May 13, 2021 interview with The Record, Hardwick remarked, "This is one of those cases - I hate to use the words, but - it's our worst nightmare." "Both of these kids went to the same school. It will take a long time for our community to heal."
Hardwick was approached by The Record for an interview for this story, but he declined.
Tristyn had a natural ability to perform, which she displayed even at an early age. She loved the excitement and athleticism of cheerleading because she had a huge smile and a feisty personality.
Jessica Moltisanti has been Tristyn's cheerleading coach since she was about seven years old.
Moltisanti, owner of Zone Cheer All-Stars in St. Johns, remarked, "She brought such a vibrant enthusiasm to whatever she did, and she touched so many people around her."
Moltisanti described the cheering community as "like a large family," and Tristyn's death left a gaping hole in the hearts of her teammates and coaches.
"It's been a tough year, but the kids have been incredible in getting through it," Moltisanti said, adding that the cheer squad's 2021-22 season will be dedicated to Tristyn.
Tanya White met Tristyn Bailey when she joined the Patriot Oaks Chargers cheering group in middle school.
Tristyn was chosen to head the squad as a seventh-grader, despite the fact that most middle school cheer captains are eighth-graders, according to White.
"She just had this leadership and vitality about her; she always stood out," said White, the St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association's cheer commissioner. "I'm very thrilled she got to have that opportunity."
In Tristyn's honor, a variety of awards and scholarships for cheerleading programs have been established.
The Bailey family returned home on Saturday, May 8, 2021, after an evening out together.
Tristyn was last seen by a sibling at midnight, and she was supposed to be asleep in her room.
Tristyn's mother examined her room the next morning, Mother's Day, and discovered her daughter was missing. Stacy Bailey contacted 911 at 10 a.m. to report the teen missing.
One of the first persons Stacy Bailey contacted was Nicole Haggerty, wondering if she or her daughter, with whom Tristyn was close, knew where she was.
Haggerty joined a neighborhood search that was already beginning, walking alongside the group as they crisscrossed the well-kept suburban complex.
Tristyn was like another daughter to her, a free-spirited young lady with "so much happiness and joy to spread; so much generosity."
"She was always making people laugh and was a joy to be around," Haggerty reflected, tears welling up in his eyes. "She was nothing short of an angel."
After learning that Tristyn would not be returning home to her family, Haggerty and others in the Durbin community began putting aqua ribbons - Tristyn's favorite color - around practically every tree and post in the area.
"We simply did everything we could to rally around them and help them," Haggerty added. "And I think everyone is in awe of how the family has handled themselves with such grace and respect."
Fucci has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of Tristyn Bailey, a 13-year-old classmate. Aiden Fucci claims to be struggling with demons.
In a pretrial hearing on Wednesday morning, the 14-year-old made strange claims. Fucci is accused of murdering his 13-year-old classmate Tristyn Bailey in May.
Aiden Fucci is the only person of interest in the death of his classmate Tristyn Bailey. On May 9, he was detained after the body of the 13-year-old was discovered.
He allegedly shared an incriminating snapshot of himself on Snapchat as he was being carried away in the rear of a squad car.
"Hey folks, has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately?" reads the caption on a photo showing a man in the back of a police car, holding up a peace sign.
The Sun has acknowledged that it has being investigated by police as part of their probe. Sheriff Robert Hardwick told WOKV before Fucci's first court appearance that the image suggests he is "proud of what he accomplished."
Early indications suggested, however, that he was not known to have had any previous issues with Bailey.
R.J. Larizza, a Florida attorney, declared on May 27 that Fucci would be charged as an adult with first-degree murder.
He explained how Fucci had warned acquaintances that he was going to kill someone in the following 30 days, leading to claims that the murder was planned ahead of time.
Tristyn was stabbed 114 times, according to Larizza's declaration, with 49 of the wounds being to her hands and arms.
Forrest Bailey, Tristyn's father, thanked the towns of Durbin Crossing, St. Johns, and Jacksonville, as well as his daughter's classmates and cheer teammates, in a statement to The Record.
The statement, which was made on behalf of ""As a family, we continue to be crushed and overtaken with sadness at the passing of Tristyn," according to "The Bailey 7."
We're learning to cope with carrying this loss forward as time goes on... We can best carry Tristyn forward via our daily recollections and gestures of affection."
The Baileys go on to say how meaningful it was that their daughter was acknowledged "from innumerable aqua bows tied up in her memory to painted pebbles carried and buried around the world to share her legacy to share her legacy."
The family is currently in limbo, with a criminal trial not slated to begin until November.
This was Stacy Bailey's first Mother's Day without her youngest child at home. Meanwhile, Forrest Bailey said they're still focused on Tristyn and the fantastic example she sets.
Bailey's family has set up a GoFundMe account, which they say will be used to start a memorial foundation in Tristyn's honor.
In recent months, the family has spent some time considering how Tristyn's legacy could be linked to positive outcomes.
The main concept, according to Forrest Bailey, is to partner with a community-focused gym that would also sponsor defense lessons, a youth mental health program, and a scholarship.
"As a community, we can drive out evil together through acts of kindness and love," he wrote.