The 20-year-old maintenance man who pleaded guilty to killing 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera last month was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide.
Ryun Brunn was arrested on Dec. 7, 2011 and charged with murdering Jorelys who was reported missing by her mother on Dec. 2.
Jorelys was last seen playing with other children in the playground of the apartment complex where she lived. Brunn was hired as a maintenance man at the apartment complex in Nov. 2011. He bragged on facebook about living rent free at the complex.
A Georgia Department of Corrections spokesman said Brunn was found unresponsive in his cell at 4:15 pm, reports Channel 2 Action News. It isn't clear if Brunn was on suicide watch at the time.
Brunn appeared in a Cherokee County courtroom on Tuesday and coldly recounted how he committed the crime. Brunn said after he molested the child, he slashed the girl's throat with a knife and beat her in the head with her own roller skate. Brunn wrapped the girl's body and dumped her in a trash compactor.
"I never had an idea of killing a child in my life ... I was just so terrified and scared. I didn't want her to tell her mom and dad on me and I just ... I cut her," Brunn said. Source
Brunn pleaded guilty to murder and child molestation charges, among other offenses. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Brunn said he wrote a note and taped it to the trash bin, directing police to the child's body inside the trash compactor. But it took another 3 days before the body was found. Police matched Brunn's handwriting with the handwriting on the note.
The case attracted national attention, and the Canton police department's investigative procedures were scrutinized in the wake of the girl's death. Canton police initially thought the 7-year-old was a runaway.
Thursday, Canton police Chief Jeff Lance resigned after an investigative report found that his police department violated its own policies.