A man accused of raping and murdering a 7-year-old girl at a youth football game was back in court Jan. 13 for a preliminary hearing.
Timothy Madden, 38, allegedly lured Gabbi Doolin away from the football field on Nov. 14. Within a half hour of Gabbi's parents realizing she was missing, the young girl's body was found in a creek near Allen County-Scottsville High School, where the game was played.
Madden, who went to high school with Gabbi's parents and has a daughter who was Gabbi's classmate, was charged with kidnap, rape, sodomy and murder for the small-town killing. Detectives linked him to the case after interviewing witnesses and swabbing Madden for DNA, which matched biological evidence on Gabbi's body, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Gabbi's parents, who were too distraught to talk in the immediate aftermath of their daughter's death, opened up about the murder in December interviews.
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Madden sat next to the Doolins during the game, in which Gabbi's older brother was participating, and Brian Doolin says he remembers seeing Madden during the frantic search for Gabbi.
"I saw him walking up the fence at the ball park. It was dark and I couldn't tell who it was originally. I hollered. I was asking a lot of people that night who they were," Brian told Kentucky's WKYT. "I mean, I thought he was helping me search. I asked him and that's what he had said. He was looking for Gabbi."
The Doolins recalled their desperate prayers for the safe return of their daughter moments before authorities approached them to say Gabbi's body had been found in the nearby creek.
"She would've trusted him just enough," Amy Doolin said of Madden. "She was around him at all the practices and the games."
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Madden, who has professed his innocence, was arraigned on Nov. 23 and jailed with bail set at $1 million. The court has yet to set a date for his trial.
In a jailhouse interview with Louisville, Kentucky's WDRB, he said he believes he can prove his innocence in front of a jury.
"Because I have nothing to hide," Madden said. "I’ve cooperated every way that they wanted me to cooperate."