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The Cleveland Divison of Police and U.S. Marshals have made an arrest in the Alianna DeFreeze murder case.

At a press conference Thursday night, Chief of Police Calvin Williams announced the arrest of 44-year-old Christopher Whitaker of South Euclid. Whitaker has been charged with first-degree aggravated murder.

Whitaker was arrested Thursday evening in Mayfield Heights at the Villa Serena Apartments.

Police say evidence from the medical examiner’s office was key in making the arrest.

Whitaker is a registered sex offender and previously served four years in jail for third-degree felony sexual battery and second-degree felonious assault in 2005.

Alianna, 14, was reported missing on Jan. 26 after she failed to attend school. She was last seen just before 7 a.m. exiting a Regional Transit Authority bus at E. 93rd Street and Kinsman Avenue. Her body was found Sunday night in a house in the 9400 block of Fuller Avenue by Cleveland police as they searched the area.

Whitaker is currently in the Cleveland jail.

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