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Man arrested in fatal attack of 15-year-old girl walking home

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Steve Marcus

A photo of 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba is shown at a memorial near Grand Teton Drive and Tee Pee Lane on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 | 7:01 a.m.

Memorial for Alyssa Otremba

A memorial for 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba is shown near Grand Teton Drive and Tee Pee Lane Monday, September 5, 2011. Launch slideshow »

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UPDATED STORY: Police: Man confessed to rape, murder of 15-year-old girl

Metro Police said late Monday a man was in custody in the death of a teenage girl reported missing Friday whose burned body was found the next day in northwest Las Vegas.

Javier Righetti, 19, of Las Vegas, was arrested in connection with the death of 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba, a sophomore at Arbor View High School. Police said Righetti and Otremba didn't know each other and the incident appeared to be a random attack.

Righetti was arrested at his home about a mile from where the girl's body was found. She was walking home when she was attacked Friday evening, police homicide Lt. Lew Roberts said.

"The body was burned. It appears that there was blunt force trauma as well as multiple stab wounds," Roberts said. "It was a very horrific incident."

Righetti was still being interviewed Monday night.

Police said they received tips that led them to Righetti, who has had other run-ins with law enforcement. He is set for a court hearing Wednesday on charges in this most recent case, including murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and robbery.

Two people walking Saturday night discovered the body in a vacant lot near U.S. 95 at Oso Blanca Road and Grand Teton Drive. Officials confirmed Monday the body was that of Otremba.

According to a Facebook page set up by her family to assist in the search, she last made contact at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a text message that said "I am on Grand Teton heading home, I will be home in 30min." Otremba had been picking up a textbook from a friend for her homework.

Friends and neighbors gathered Monday at a makeshift memorial for the girl.

Although police earlier in the day hadn't confirmed the identity of the body, those leaving behind flowers and stuffed animals on the corner of Tee Pee Land and Grand Teton feared it might be that of Otremba. “In Loving Memory of Alyssa Otremba” read a poster decorated with pictures of the girl at the memorial.

Otremba played percussion in the Arbor View band. Other Arbor View students also stopped by the area Monday.

“The first ensemble from band was here,” said freshman Christian Valentin.

Valentin and freshman Matthew Aparo, a friend of Otremba and fellow Arbor View band member, described Otremba as funny, nice and courageous.

Click to enlarge photo

Sarah Wescott, right, an Arbor View High School band member, places flowers at a memorial for 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba near Grand Teton Drive and Tee Pee Lane Monday, September 5, 2011.

“Very open,” Valentin said.

Tears ran from the eyes of Paige Montes, a Centennial High School student who befriended Otremba while attending Escobedo Middle School.

“She was fun to hang out with,” Montes said. “Last time I talked to her was a couple weeks ago.”

Neighbors visited the memorial to pay their respects. Resident Bryan Litle lives across the street from the lot where Otremba's body was found.

“It’s too close to home,” he said.

Litle said he didn't know Otremba or her family, but feared for the safety of his own child.

“I got a 6-year-old,” he said. “Makes me not want to let my son out of the house.”

The Associated Press and KSNV-TV contributed to this report.

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