This story was updated at 5:03 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019, with information about Madison being charged with capital murder.

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Christopher Wayne Madison

A 33-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the death of an 11-year-old DeKalb County, Alabama, girl who went missing Friday and was found dead Saturday.

Christopher Wayne Madison is being held without bond, DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said in a news release issued Monday afternoon after a news conference.

Amberly Alexis Barnett was last seen in the Mount Vernon community around 6 p.m. CST Friday, according to statements from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. Her body was found 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

"Her body was found in a wooded area approximately 200 yards behind the defendant's home," Welden said in the release issued Monday afternoon. "Due to the ongoing investigation, and in order not to jeopardize that investigation, I am not at liberty to disclose any additional information concerning this case.

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Amberly Alexis Barnett, 11, was reported missing Friday, March 1, 2019, and was found dead early the next day.

"The road to justice for this sweet, innocent little girl is too important to release anything to jeopardize this investigation," the sheriff said, adding his thanks to investigators and other participating agencies that helped in search efforts and recovery efforts.

Authorities have not released the manner or cause of Amberly's death.

The girl's mother, Jonie Barnett, had posted on her Facebook page, before the discovery of the body, that there were suspicious circumstances in her daughter's disappearance from her aunt's home near the DeKalb-Cherokee county line.

"SOMEONE GOT MY DAUGHTER FROM MY SISTERS HOME IN Collinsville/sandrock ALABAMA!" the post reads, giving a physical description of the 11-year-old. "Her phone was left behind and my baby takes it everywhere. Nothing in her phone indicated she was planning to leave! My sis had went to the store while her brother in law who was outside working on the house next door/same land and driveway. Amberly is the type to not do anything that she will get in trouble for. She is so scared of anyone being mad at her or getting in trouble. She would not have ran away or make plans to go off somewhere. A Green SUV was seen leaving the driveway!"

Barnett described her daughter in another post as a fighter who would "never leave without telling anyone."

DeKalb County authorities on Monday would not comment further on the case.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been opened for the girl's family by people identifying themselves as Class of 2009 Collinsville High School classmates of Jonie Barnett.

"CHS Class of 2009 is raising money in memory of our classmate's daughter. All donations will go directly to the family of this sweet girl. Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated," the introduction reads. The fund stood at more than $5,600, the site stated at 10 a.m. EST Monday.

"Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers as we move forward during this tragic event," Welden said. "Please understand that my staff and I will not be answering questions at this time due to the circumstances."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at