Sometime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on March 5, neighbors heard a short scream erupt from nearby Rosemont Community Park. At first, they dismissed it, they told detectives. It was not unusual, after all, to hear the sounds of children playing there.
But after the gruesome discovery of a 13-year-old girl's body in a baseball dugout the next morning, those neighbors acknowledged to detectives that the two- or three-second cry was "unlike any other playful scream."
That chilling detail, along with other witness statements and surveillance videos, has helped Sacramento County sheriff's detectives map out a timeline of Jessica Funk-Haslam's final hours.
On Thursday, detectives announced that the eighth- grader likely was killed in that one-hour window, after having spent at least an hour and a half in the darkened park.
Previously, detectives had a 13-hour window for the brutal crime, the time between her departure from her La Riviera apartment after an argument with her mother and the discovery of her body at daybreak.
Their new, narrowed timeline has Funk-Haslam leaving the apartment about 6 p.m. and hopping on a light-rail train from the Butterfield station to Watt Avenue/Manlove Road, said sheriff's Detective Tony Turnbull.
There, the teen took the No. 72 bus to Kiefer Boulevard and Huntsman Drive, just a few blocks from Albert Einstein Middle School, where the girl was a student, and the park next door, Turnbull said. Detectives believe she arrived at the park, where she had hung out with friends many times before, shortly after 6:30 p.m.
She likely was killed hit in the head, stabbed in the neck and asphyxiated sometime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., though it could have been as late as 10 p.m., Turnbull said. Neighbors who heard the scream also reporting hearing at least one male voice shortly thereafter.
Images captured by a home surveillance camera during roughly the same period show a teen or young adult running eastbound on Rosemont Drive near Mayhew Road. Turnbull said detectives do not know whether that person was involved, but they are trying to identify him or her.
Also unidentified are those who were hanging out with Funk-Haslam at the park. Based on what they know about the girl and her habits, detectives believe she was with "somebody she knew or somebody she was comfortable with," Turnbull said.
Her friends have been "fairly cooperative," Turnbull said, but so far no names have surfaced. One particular challenge has been culling good information from the bad.
"You can imagine, when dealing with (this age group) after about a day, what kind of rumors get passed around," he said.
Turnbull said some teens might be afraid to speak candidly for fear of their parents knowing they were somewhere, or doing something, that would get them in trouble.
For those teens, Turnbull had a reality check.
"We can take care of this," the detective said of issues with parents. "This is the death of a 13-year-old girl who was young and naive and had her whole life ahead of her."
Detectives have spoken to residents of about 250 homes surrounding the park, and have interviewed as many as 100 students at Albert Einstein Middle and Rosemont High schools.
They are interested in a few individuals, but so far have not identified any suspects, Turnbull said.
The case has taken a toll on detectives, who have not had a day off since Funk-Haslam's body was found. Turnbull said many of them have teenagers of their own; he himself has a daughter about Funk-Haslam's age.
"There's not a whole lot of sleep going on," he said.
Detectives again are asking for the public's help. They are seeking information about who might have been with Funk-Haslam in the park, on light rail or on the bus. They also are looking for tips about suspicious activity around the park that night.
The night of her death, Funk-Haslam was wearing a zip-up jacket with zebra stripes and a fur-lined hood. Turnbull said her hair was shorter than in her circulated school picture jaw length, and with an awkward patch on the left side where she tried to cut her own hair.
"We're working as hard as we can to find a resolution to this," Turnbull said.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.
Editor's Note: This story has been changed from the print version to correct the date of Funk-Haslam's death. Corrected on Friday, March 16.