Though seemingly a normal but rebellious kid, Alyssa Bustamante is best recognized as a teenager with a very dark side. There were earlier signs which depicted that the cold-blooded killer had a troubled childhood but they were underrated. Sadly, the troubled teenager’s dark side got the best of her and caused the vicious death of an unsuspecting child in her neighborhood. Find out how the thrill-kill Missouri teen gained media attention.
Who is Alyssa Bustamante?
A Missouri native, Alyssa Bustamante was born on January 28, 1994. She is the product of a romance between two teenagers with criminal records. While her mother has had run-ins with the law for minor crimes such as DUI and drug possession, her father’s case was that of assault and was serving a decade-long sentence for his crime. Following her biological parent’s criminal history, Alyssa’s grandparents took her in and tried to give her a good life. Although Alyssa seemed like a normal kid with good grades in school, she was far from a regular teenager.
Facts About The 15-year-old Who Murdered A 9-year-old Girl
- Alyssa Bustamante was violent, depressed and angry
Unlike most of her peers, Alyssa began exhibiting uncanny behaviours as a child. A major pointer to Alyssa’s psychological problems was the fact that she was a cutter. In other words, Alyssa handled her emotional pains by self-mutilating herself. More so, after several suicide attempts, her grandparents were alarmed and took her to see a psychologist. Alyssa was placed on medication for depression for her psychopathic behaviour.
Even more troubling was Alyssa Bustamante’s social media accounts which reflected a much darker persona. Like most girls her age, Alyssa was a social media freak but her posts were in no way considered normal. Besides the gothic pictures and troubling writeups she often posted, Alyssa also had some shocking videos on her YouTube channel. More so, she once confided in her best friend about her curiosity to experience killing someone.
- How she murdered Elizabeth Olten
Alyssa Bustamante was not the only kid raised by her grandmother and legal guardian. She lived with three other half-siblings including twin half-brothers and a half-sister Emma. The Bustamante family lived just a few houses down from the Olten family made up of mother Patty Preiss and her three kids, Anthony, Stephanie, and the youngest, Elizabeth Olten. The Bustamante and Olten children often played at each other’s homes. One evening on October 21, 2009, Elizabeth Olten who was aged nine at the time, begged to go over to Alyssa’s house to play with 6-year-old Emma.
Four days earlier, Alyssa Bustamante dug two grave-like holes. The evening of October 21, 2009, presented the teenager’s long-awaited chance to kill. While Elizabeth was returning home alone, Alyssa then lured the Olten kid into the woods, brutalized, stabbed and eventually sliced her throat. Thereafter, she disposed of the corpse in one of the graves.
By 6:30 p.m. when the sun had set and Elizabeth who was deathly afraid of the dark wasn’t home yet, her mother Patty knew something was wrong and panicked. Patty called her neighbour’s home and was told Elizabeth wasn’t there but had left for home earlier. She then called the police who quickly launched a search in the neighbourhood but unbeknown to them, it was already too late.
- Why did she kill Elizabeth Olten?
The police searched the area without locating Elizabeth, or her cell phone. In the course of investigations, it was discovered that during the time Elizabeth went missing, all the neighbourhood kids were accounted for except Alyssa Bustamante. After a series of questioning including incriminating entries in her diary, the teenager later confessed and took the police to the grave where she disposed Elizabeth’s corpse.
Investigations also further revealed that the 15-year-old Alyssa was a thrill-kill teen. On the night of the murder, Alyssa made some entries in her diary describing her first human kill as ‘amazing’ and ‘pretty enjoyable’. Alyssa Bustamante simply explained that her reason for the killing was just to get a feel of murder. Though the violent teen had already taken one life, on the bright side, authorities are thankful that her excesses were checkmated after the first kill and no one really has to wonder if Alyssa could have continued on a killing spree.
- She was tried as an adult
Elizabeth Olten’s death led to Alyssa’s arrest and subsequent trial as an adult, according to the court rulings. Bustamante was initially charged with first-degree murder, but her defence attorneys claimed that an abundance of the drug Prozac may have helped lead her to kill. However, the Missouri teen later pleaded guilty to the charge of 2nd-degree murder and armed criminal action. On February 8th, 2012, she was handed a life imprisonment sentence at the age of 18 with the possibility of parole.
- Post trial
After Alyssa Bustamante’s conviction, Elizabeth’s mother Patty Preiss filed a $5 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Alyssa’s grandparents and siblings. She was later awarded $400,000 in a settlement. But Preiss also took other precautionary measures by also suing Alyssa herself to ensure that the murderer never gets to make any profits from publicizing crime either via film or book adaptations.