Missing Delaware Teen Was Beaten to Death in Woods — and Police Say Ex and Others Were Involved

Authorities in Delaware have arrested the ex-boyfriend of a 17-year-old high school student whose beaten and battered body was found Saturday in a secluded, heavily wooded area of Newark.

Madison Sparrow was reported missing Friday night when she did not return home after a visit to the University of Delaware campus.

A junior at Newark Charter School, Sparrow was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend, 19-year-old Noah Sharp.

Local reports indicate Sharp is a graduate of the Newark Charter School.

A statement from Delaware State Police alleges "detectives obtained information through investigative interviews that Madison responded to an area in Newark where her ex-boyfriend, Noah, was located."

The statement continues: "The investigation revealed the homicide occurred in the Newark area due to blunt force trauma to her body. After the homicide occurred, she was transported to a secluded wooded location in Newark, where law enforcement officers discovered her body."

The Newark Post, citing court records, reports Sparrow was beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat. Detectives recovered the blood-spattered bat from the same wooded area.

Sharp has been charged with first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and first-degree conspiracy. He's being held on $1 million cash bail.

PEOPLE was unable to determine if Sharp had entered pleas to the charges. Information on his attorney, if he has one, was also unavailable.

According to the police statement, "there is information indicating additional individuals may be involved in this homicide."

Police allege Sharp confessed to the killing, and said he'd planned it with another individual. He allegedly told investigators where they could find the body.

Sparrow's official cause of death was homicide by blunt-force trauma.

A motive, if known, has not been disclosed.

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Friends who spoke to CBS in Philadelphia said Sparrow always brightened a room with her presence.

"The way she gave to others when the time came, there was so much of an outpouring from all parts of the community," friend Rohn Satjar said. "In a dark world, you need people that are light. It just helps you process through life’s challenges and wherever you are, you need people like Madison."

The case remains active and ongoing. Police ask that anyone with any information about the mmurder call Detective M. Csapo with the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit at (302) 741-2729.

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