Tarrant County prosecutors said Thursday they would ask a judge to certify a 16-year-old boy as an adult in the murder of 14-year-old Kaytlynn Cargill, of Bedford.
Because of his age, the suspect is not eligible to be sentenced to death or life without parole, prosecutors said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with NBC 5, the girl's father faulted police for not taking the investigation more seriously at first.
"The last time I talked to her was on Father's Day," said Kaytlynn's father, Beau Cargill.
She texted him a "Happy Father's Day" message.
Cargill disappeared from her Bedford apartment on June 20 – just two days after Father's Day.
He body was found at a landfill three days later.
Even though Beau Cargill lives near Temple, where he is a professional tree-trimmer, he said he had kept in close touch with his daughter. She lived with her mother since she was about two years old, he said.
Like many separated couples, Cargill said he rarely talked to Kaytlynn's mother.
But she called him unexpectedly early one morning.
"She said, 'Beau, I don't know how to tell you, but Kaytlynn is missing,'" he said. "And I was like, 'What?'"
He raced several hours to Bedford, where family, friends, and even strangers frantically searched.
"I just kept telling myself, you know, 'She ran away. She did. She ran away. She came back. She ran away,'" he said.
But there was no sign of the missing teen, who idolized Batman and Superman.
"I told my sister, I said, 'I just feel like she's, I mean, she's close somewhere,'" he said. "'I feel like she's close somewhere.'"
But Kaytlynn had vanished. She didn't respond to her father's repeated calls and messages.
"These last ones were, 'I love you Kaytlynn,'" he said, showing his cell phone. "And I left her a message, 'Please call me Kaytlynn.' I called and called and called. Message, message, message."
Then, three days later, Kaytlynn was found dead in a landfill.
It turned out, nobody had looked in the apartment dumpster.
She had been close.
"I slept in Kaytlynn's bed for three days," Cargill said. "When we found out, then that's when I went and got a motel room. But I'll never forget those three days. Her smell was still on her pillows."
But who killed Kaytlynn? Who would do that to a 14-year-old girl?
Weeks went by with no arrest.
Then, in early September, police arrested a 16-year-old boy — a friend of Kaytlynn's who lived in the same complex.
Detectives said Kaytlynn and the boy were involved in a drug deal right before her murder.
Her father doesn't believe her death had anything to do with drugs.
"No. Even if she did do, it don't matter," he said. "I still don't think that's what this was over."
He faults police for treating her disappearance as a runaway at first.
"I think if they would have looked a little harder, they would have found her. I really do … My mom and dad asked them, 'Did you all check the dumpsters?' And they said, 'Yes.' But obviously they didn't."
After months of staying quiet, Cargill said he wanted to speak out about the case.
"I'm Kaytlynn's father. I loved her dearly," he said. "I still love her. I don't want her to think I'm just going about my life. I'm still hurting for her."
The father said he is still struggling to deal with her death and is in counseling.
"It shouldn't have happened to her," he said. "I never had to holler at my daughter. She was almost perfect. Well, she was perfect."