While Valley Springs-area residents Tuesday night were holding a candlelight vigil for 8-year-old Leila Fowler, Placerville police were investigating a possible link between an alleged kidnapping in that city earlier Tuesday and Saturday's fatal stabbing of the Calaveras County girl.
"We have no confirmed nexus to the Calaveras County case," said Placerville police Capt. Mike Scott. But he said Placerville officers have been in communication with Calaveras County law enforcement officials following the arrest of 44-year-old Jason Wayrynen.
Scott said a DNA sample also has been collected from Wayrynen.
Scott said there are some similarities between Wayrynen and the description of the assailant in Fowler's death. The girl's 12-year-old brother reportedly came upon an intruder in the house about noon while the parents were away, Calaveras County sheriff's deputies said.
The intruder then fled and the brother found his sister with stab wounds.
Wayrynen, whose last known address was off Paul Bunyon Road in Camino, allegedly entered a Placerville apartment uninvited Tuesday morning and took a 15-month-old girl from her mother.
Police were called to an apartment in the 2800 block of Schnell School Road at 8:03 a.m. The caller said a man she did not know was inside her apartment and threatening to take a child who was in the residence.
Dispatchers were told that the child's mother was struggling with the suspect, according to a Police Department news release.
When police officers and El Dorado County sheriff's deputies arrived, they found the man, later identified as Wayrynen, still inside the apartment and took him into custody.
They were told that Wayrynen, who was not known to any of the apartment occupants, had followed the original caller into the apartment uninvited.
He reportedly focused his attention on the 15-month-old girl, forcibly taking her from her mother and holding the child to the ground.
The mother wrestled her daughter away from Wayrynen and put her in a bedroom where other children were hiding.
The mother reportedly closed the door and fought with Wayrynen to prevent him from entering the bedroom until officers arrived.
Wayrynen was booked into El Dorado County jail on suspicion of kidnapping and burglary.
Anyone who has had recent contact with Wayrynen or who has information pertaining to the case is asked to call the Placerville Police Department at (530) 642-5280 and refer to Case No. 13-540.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.