Killers don’t always come dressed in serial killer garb and carrying a bag of murder weapons with a snare on their face. Sometimes they come in unassuming packages. Just ask Michael Brandon Hill. In the case of Alyssa Bustamante, a heinous crime was committed by a minor with a troubled past.
Alyssa has always been on the wrong side of life since her birth. And this caused her to go down a path that involved hate, torture, suicide attempts, and eventually murder. In 2009, the then 15-year old Bustamante took the life of her 9-year old neighbor Elizabeth and seemed to enjoy it. Here is everything we know so far about the troubled girl’s childhood and present circumstances.
Alyssa Bustamante Biography
The troubled child was born on January 28, 1994, in Cole County, Missouri. Her story has been tortuous from the very beginning. Alyssa, like many other teenagers, was addicted to social media, but that is where most of the similarities end.
Her tendencies and overall attitude made her a castaway. Even most of her friends were uncomfortable being around her. During her teenage years, Alyssa Bustamante used to post regularly on her MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Her messages were almost always troublesome.
On her YouTube channel, she listed her hobbies and they included killing people and cutting herself. In keeping with her hobbies, the then-teenager had tried to kill herself multiple times. By the time she had turned 15, she had inflicted over 300 cuts on herself.
She was eventually diagnosed as clinically depressed and put on psychiatric medication like Prozac to curtail her violent tendencies.
A few weeks before she killed Elizabeth, Bustamante had become curious about what it would be like to take a life. As her best friend Jennifer would tell the police later, Alyssa had pulled her aside during a party and asked her the same question. Alyssa had also dug two graves in her backyard obviously in preparation for the murder. The gruesome day came on October 21, 2009.
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Olten had gone to play with her six-year-old friend who lived down the street and also happened to be Alyssa’s half-sister. On her way back to her house, Alyssa called her on the phone and lured her to her house. She then proceeded to take Elizabeth – who considered her a friend – into the woods where she killed her.
The teenager beat her up badly, then she put her in a chokehold and strangled her. After this, Alyssa went further to slash her wrists and neck and stab her repeatedly. She then dragged her body from the woods and buried her in one of the graves she had dug.
After the deed was done, she detailed the experience in her journal. In her entry, Alyssa Bustamante admitted to being nervous and unsure at first. She then wrote that she found the experience exhilarating and amazing.
After Elizabeth’s parents reported her missing, the police initially searched in the neighborhood but turned up with nothing. They traced Elizabeth’s cellphone to the woods but still couldn’t find the body. However, due to the teenager’s troubled and psychotic history, she was one of the police’s suspects. They started investigating her and soon found her diary and her entry about the killing. She then confessed to the murder and led them to the gravesite.
Her Parents and Family
Alyssa Bustamante was born into a chaotic situation. Both her parents were drug addicts and teenagers at the time of her birth. Her parents are known as Caesar and Michelle. They were never around and she was raised by her grandparents.
Alyssa’s mother, Michelle was also an alcoholic and had a rap sheet that included theft and drug possession. Her father was already serving 10-year sentencing for assault at the time Alyssa was born. The circumstances of her birth and early childhood were huge contributors to her traumatic experiences and eventual psychotic behavior.
Alyssa has two twin brothers whose names are unknown. She used to post stunt videos with them on her KamiKage YouTube channel. But one day, she uploaded a disturbing video of herself grabbing an electric fence and compelling her two younger brothers to do the same.
Where Is Alyssa Bustamante Now?
Although Bustamante had previously confessed to the police, she pleaded not guilty which saw the case go to trial. She was charged with first-degree murder and the court said that even though she was a minor, she would be tried as an adult given the gruesome and premeditated nature of the murder.
Her trial commenced on January 30, 2012, two days after her 18th birthday. During the course of the trial, Alyssa Bustamante had to be kept under 24-hour surveillance as she was exhibiting signs of self-harm and depression.
The teenage girl pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and possession of weapons. During the trial, her grandparents obviously overwhelmed at the situation, stood up from beside her and stormed out of the courtroom, causing Alyssa to break down. She issued a tearful apology to Elizabeth’s family and said that she would give her own life if it would bring the girl back.
At the end of the trial, the verdict given to her was a life sentence with a possibility of parole. The court stated, however, that to qualify for parole, she would have to spend at least 35 years behind bars.