PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A friend of a 14-year-old girl was charged with her slaying nearly five years after her body turned up in a sewer, police said Monday.

Andrew Giamboi, 25, had long been considered a top suspect because he was one of the last people seen with Sara Hindle, who disappeared from her suburban Philadelphia home on Aug. 26, 1998, authorities said.

``We just kept going back to him,'' West Whiteland Township police Sgt. Martin Malloy said. ``Finally he gave us everything. He knew things that we had never told him about the case.''

Giamboi lived in the same development as Hindle.

A year after Hindle disappeared, a public works crew found her remains in a sewer after residents complained of water backing up into their homes.

Although authorities fielded reports of the teen supposedly being spotted at several places during the course of that year, including a West Chester high school and Camden Yards baseball field in Baltimore, they now believe those witnesses were mistaken.

``She was killed the night she disappeared,'' Chester County District Attorney Joe Carroll said, adding that authorities don't know what the motive was.

Giamboi moved around Chester County and police eventually lost track of him, Malloy said. Eventually, they got word that he moved to New York; he moved from shelter to shelter until police found out he was living in Yonkers, N.Y., and working at a restaurant, Malloy said.

Police met with Giamboi a dozen times in New York and he eventually told them he killed Hindle, authorities said. He waived extradition Friday and was arraigned on criminal homicide and aggravated assault charges. He was being held Monday without bail at Chester County Prison.

The cause of death was never determined because of the condition of the remains. But authorities believe that Giamboi either suffocated or strangled Hindle with his hands, and that no weapon was used, Carroll said. Prosecutors did not plan to pursue the death penalty.

Graham Andes, a Chester County public defender representing Giamboi, did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press at his home and office Monday.