Aiden Fucci, the Florida 14-year-old accused as an adult of murdering Tristyn Bailey, 13, told the police a shifting series of stories which in part blamed the victim for what occurred leading up to Bailey’s death.
That’s according to one of several documents released as part of a 90-page case file on Wednesday. Fucci is accused of stabbing Bailey 114 times in the early morning hours of May 9, 2021. But Fucci insisted when asked several times that he did not kill Bailey, the documents indicate.
On May 9, authorities met with the defendant and spoke with him with the consent of his mother, Crystal Smith. Smith has subsequently been charged with destroying evidence in the case.
At first, Fucci told the police he was with Bailey at a nearby house owned by Doffis “Tre” Absher III. Fucci said he and Bailey “left together” at around 1:00 a.m. Fucci said he walked north to North Durbin Parkway. There, he claimed Bailey “turned onto Cloisterbane Drive to go to her home,” while he “walked along North Durbin Parkway and arrived home between approximately” 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
A deputy asked Fucci to “clarify his time line since it seemed odd” that a walk which would normally take half an hour ultimately took Fucci at least two hours according to his own account.
Then came Fucci’s second story and a stunning claim. According to the police report, Fucci said he and Bailey really “continued walking north along North Durbin Parkway and got into an altercation after Tristyn grabbed his penis.”
“Aiden stated he forcefully pushed Tristyn to the ground, which caused her to strike her head,” the documents say.
That incident is said to have occurred in the 600 block of North Durbin Parkway, just north of Leith Hall Drive.
“Aiden said he was not sure if he saw Tristyn get up due to him being dizzy from smoking marijuana earlier” at the home they were visiting, the documents say further.
The defendant then said he “walked around alone for a while.”
The police read Fucci his rights; he effectively shut down questioning by requesting an attorney.
According to the documents, the defendant told another story to Det. Kimberly Peluso.
Fucci told Peluso that Bailey “could be with a drug dealer who is in his twenties that she communicates with through Snapchat,” the documents say. Or, he suggested “she could be on a path by the north amenities center known for teenage drug use.”
Absher had previously told the police he believed Fucci dropped Bailey off at her home, was caught being outside by her sister, and then went to meet with a drug dealer. Absher also said he thought Bailey might be with a drug dealer who was in his twenties.
Two of Bailey’s friends, named in the court documents as Samantha and Lina Creel, weren’t home when police tried to ask them for information, but their father, Jerry Creel, said Absher told his daughters that the drug dealer was 22 years old and was known as “Karlo.”
The drug dealer theory came up again during other interviews as well. The documents indicate that no one knew if the name was spelled “Carlo” or “Karlo” and further provided a possible address and description of whomever “Karlo” was. When investigators finally tracked him down, he was eliminated as a possible suspect, as he was last in St. Johns County on May 1st.
“Information later obtained failed to reveal any further probative connection to Karlo,” the documents say, “and he was excluded from the investigation.”
But other detectives turned up information “that Tristyn may have been involved in an illegal activity, was afraid she would be caught, and wanted to run away,” the document says.
Those leads appear to have borne zero fruit, and the “illegal activity” appears from further in the document to have involved graffiti.
After he was arrested, the police put Fucci into an interview room and allowed him to meet with his parents — with audio and video equipment rolling.
Fucci’s parents told him to remain silent until his attorney arrived and told him the room was being recorded — which it was.
“Is she good?” Fucci asked when his parents said Bailey had been found.
“No, she’s dead,” his mother replied. “That’s why this is very important. It’s all on you right now.”
“How is it my problem?” Fucci asked.
His parents told him he was the last person seen with Bailey.
Fucci said he understood the situation was serious.
His father asked if he had any cuts or scrapes.
“No, sir,” he responded, according to the documents.
Fucci then told his parents that Bailey probably got picked up by her drug dealer and that Bailey was not going home. Rather, he said she was going to find someone to stay with, the report says.
Fucci insisted that after pushing Bailey down, he continued walking.
“Did you kiss or do anything with them?” Fucci’s father, Jason Fucci, asked of the people his son was hanging out with.
Fucci said he kissed Bailey but “denied doing anything further,” the police report says while paraphrasing the conversation.
“So your DNA is going to be on her?” Jason Fucci asked his son.
Aiden Fucci did not respond.
He also did not respond when his father told him people were suggesting on social media that he was the killer.
Fucci told his father that Bailey tried to grab him, that she yelled out his name, that he pushed her, and that he told Bailey to “F off.” He then asserted that he walked away, according to the police report.
A detective then entered the room and asked for a consensual fingernail scraping. Both parents said they would wait for an attorney to arrive. When the detective left the room, both parents told the defendant the police would be looking underneath his nails and examining his body for marks.
Crystal Smith, Fucci’s mother, then started talking about what Fucci was wearing.
“There will be nothing on those clothes, right?” Jason Fucci asked.
“No, sir,” Fucci said.
Fucci then said he was wearing blue jeans. His mother asked if anything was going to be on them.
“I don’t think so; why?” Fucci asked.
“Blood,” Smith whispered to her son.
“When we looked on the camera, you were wearing khakis,” Smith asked. “Right?”
“Yes,” Fucci said.
The police aren’t buying it.
“This appeared to be Crystal attempting to convince Aiden he was wearing khaki pants instead of blue jeans, contrary to his previous response,” the police report says.
Smith is now charged with washing her defendant son’s jeans in an attempt to destroy evidence.
According to the police report which recounts the conversation between mother, father, and son, Crystal Smith suggested that her defendant son’s story simply doesn’t make sense — she “didn’t see why Aiden kissed Tristyn, then she grabbed Aiden, and then Aiden pushed her.”
“Jason and Crystal both advised Aiden to find his story and stick to it,” the report reads.
Both parents then told their son how an autopsy would be conducted and what it might discover.
Fucci said it took him a long time to get home because “he walked around by himself, slowly, looking at the stars.”
All three left the interview room at about 9:08 p.m. to meet with Anwar Snober, their attorney.
When they came back into the interview room at about 10:26 p.m., “[a]ll were sniffling and appeared to have recently been crying.” Smith again told Fucci that the room was recorded and that he should not say anything.
Conversation was then made with detectives about where Fucci would spend the night. The police report notes that Fucci was not yet under arrest.
“I know I’m staying here,” Fucci said.
Jason Fucci and his son then began typing messages to one another on a phone and passing it back and forth.
“This appeared to be a means of communication . . . to subvert investigative efforts,” the police report says.
Conversation then turned to the teen’s drug use.
The younger Fucci told his mother that he was smoking CBD, not THC, because the former doesn’t get him high while the latter does.
“I’m just trying to think if you did something stupid, maybe something made you do it so that would justify it,” Crystal Smith said.
Despite this suggestion, voluntary intoxication is not a defense under Florida law. Luckily for prosecutors, however, Fucci admitted he wasn’t intoxicated.
Neither Smith nor the elder Fucci agreed to speak to the police.
Authorities determined that Bailey’s cell phone last pinged off the network from a wooded area south of Loop Nursery on Racetrack Road. Her body was eventually found in a wooded area east of a cul-de-sac on Saddlestone Drive near a retention pond on property owned by the Durbin Creek Nursery on Racetrack Road. A pink vape device, Bailey’s cell phone, and a $20 bill were in the “immediate vicinity.” A “Power Ade” bottle was nearby. A runner said he found Bailey’s body while searching the area after returning from a run.
According to the documents, Fucci’s wet Nike shoes tested positive for the presumptive presence of blood. So did his white tee shirt.
Various knives were taken into evidence, including a “Buck” brand folding hunting knife found in a pond 140 feet from Bailey’s body. That knife was described in the police report as “bent and fractured.”
The activity which led Bailey to want to run away, according to a friend, was that Bailey was out with a group of friends who started to write graffiti on a sign. The friends put Bailey’s name on the sign, and Bailey crossed it out at the advice of another friend.
“Tristyn tried to scribble her name out of the sign and was afraid she was going to get caught,” the police report says.
The same friend who talked about the graffiti incident called the defendant “the textbook definition of what you would call a numb kid.”
“He has no feelings towards anyway, no feelings toward himself,” the friend said.
She said the defendant’s “eyes always appeared ‘glossy,’ describing them as having no meaning to them,” the police report explains.
The friend then called Fucci “the type of person you would see as a murderer.”
“He just doesn’t care,” the friend told the police.
The friend told Bailey not to hang out with Fucci when she died because she “had a bad feeling about it.”
Read the 34-page police report below.
Law&Crime is continuing to read other material released Wednesday from the cache of police files.
[All images via Florida law enforcement authorities.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]