Update: Emmett residents react to news of an eight-year-old girl being found dead

Body discovered at a residence along Airport Road is believed to be that of eight-year-old Taryn Summers
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:11 PM MDT
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EMMETT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Law enforcement is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an eight-year-old Gem County girl, and residents told KMVT they can’t believe this is happening in their town.

The Town of Emmet is shocked by the announcement by the Gem County Sheriff’s Office that the body discovered at a residence along Airport Road is believed to be that of eight-year-old Taryn Summers — aka Taryn Quinton — who was reported missing earlier this week.

“I definitely thought this wouldn’t happen in such a small town, and I thought that little girl would have been safe,” said Emmett resident Taylor Pietrowski,

Gem County resident Kiere Schroder said it was beyond her comprehension that anyone could do that to a child.

“Because that is the most egregious offense,” she said.

Taryn Summers’ two older siblings appear to be safe at this time, however. They were reported as runaways last Fall.

“Law enforcement has been in contact with Taylor [Summers], and does not believe her to be in danger at this time,” said Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder. “Family has been in contact with Tristan Sexton and law enforcement does not believe him to be in danger at this time.”

The Sheriff’s Office stated a suspect was arrested in Ada County on Thursday but did not identify the individual. According to the Ada County Sheriff’s jail roster, fifty-four-year-old Connie Ann Smith of Emmett has been booked on first-degree murder.

The Gem County Assessor Office confirmed to KMVT that an individual named Connie Smith owns property on Airport Road.

“This is still a very active case. The investigation is ongoing. Once we have more information available we will release it,” Wunder said.

In the wake of this tragedy, the community is calling for togetherness and remembrance of eight-year Taryn Summers with a candlelight vigil that will be held at 8 pm Saturday at Roy A. Bowman Family Memorial Park. A GoFundMe page has also been created to help her family to cover funeral costs.

Candlelight Vigil for Taryn Summers
Candlelight Vigil for Taryn Summers(SK)
Go Fund Me Page
Go Fund Me Page(SK)

“She [Taryn] was super sweet. I liked her quite a bit,” Pietrowski said.

On Friday, some locals made it is clear they’re supporting each other as well as the family throughout this unprecedented tragedy.

“I just feel awful. I know what it is like to lose family. What they must be going through is insane,” Pietrowski said.

The Gem County Sheriff’s Office has been assisted by the Idaho State Police and Federal partners. They thank everyone for their concern and support during the last few days, but they are asking the public to remain patient during this investigation.

In a statement to KMVT Superintendent Craig Woods of the Emmett School District said:

“We are deeply saddened by tonight’s news and we extend our condolences to the family and friends of Taryn. She was a student within the Emmett School District. We will have counselors available today and in the coming days and weeks to meet with students and staff grieving this sad loss.”

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