Elizabeth Olten's family "is devastated over the loss of the confession," spokeswoman Pam Cafourek said Wednesday, one day after Cole County Presiding Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce suppressed some evidence in the state's case against Alyssa Bustamante.
Bustamante is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2009 death of Olten, who was a 9-year-old neighbor girl.
Joyce identified Tobie Meyer as the juvenile officer present during Bustamante's questioning by a Highway Patrol investigator, then said near the end of her two-page order: "Ms. Meyer's participation in the interrogation of defendant went far beyond her statutory role as juvenile officer, which is limited to observation and protection of the juvenile's rights."
Joyce prohibited the prosecution from using "all statements made after Transcript of Video Statement page 71, line 14," a document that, so far, has not been released.
That's where the confession was recorded, Olten's family said.
Nevertheless, Cafourek stated, Olten's family feels "the prosecution still has a very strong case" to make in a trial against Bustamante, now scheduled to begin Sept. 13 with jury selection in Greene County.