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Teen Arrested in Fla. Girl’s Death

November 10, 1998

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy was arrested today after the decomposing body of an 8-year-old neighbor girl was found hidden in his bedroom.

Joshua Earl Patrick Phillips confessed and was charged with murder in the death of Maddie Clifton, who disappeared last week, Sheriff Nat Glover said.

The boy’s mother, Misty Phillips, had grown suspicious after police searched her home Monday as part of a routine search and detected an odor coming from the water bed, Glover said. This morning, she pulled aside the frame of the bed, saw Maddie’s feet and summoned an officer, he said.

Maddie’s body was found in a fetal position under a sheet of plywood supporting the frame of the water bed, which was filled, Glover said.

Investigators believe the third-grader was killed in the house shortly after she disappeared the evening of Nov. 3.

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