- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville police have charged a homeless man in the slaying of 12-year-old boy who was stabbed in a popular public park.

Joseph Cambron, 21, has been charged with murder and evidence tampering, police said Thursday.

The boy, Ray Allen Etheridge, was found stabbed multiple times in a wooded area inside Louisville’s Cherokee Park, a popular and scenic destination surrounded by historic homes in the Highlands neighborhood. Police say the attacker used a knife.

Cambron was living at a campsite near where the attack occurred and was seen on surveillance video that day with the victim, Lt. Todd Kessinger said Thursday at police headquarters. Cambron contacted police about the slaying on Wednesday, saying “he wanted to talk to us,” Kessinger said. An arrest report said Cambron gave a recorded statement to police “admitting his involvement in the incident.”

Cambron was an acquaintance of the boy, who frequented the park and surrounding areas with his family, police said.

On the afternoon of the attack, Ray was with his mother at a shopping center near the park when he wandered away from her, Kessinger said. She had him taken out of the southern Indiana school he attends ahead of the dismissal time that day, and they were waiting for her husband to get off work.

Kessinger said Cambron and Ray had an altercation before the attack. A park-goer found the boy unresponsive Tuesday afternoon, and he was taken to a downtown hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The surveillance video that Cambron appeared on with the victim “was crucial evidence that got us pointed in the right direction,” Kessinger said.

Police have said the boy’s family was homeless and lived out of a car or in motel rooms. Cambron was also homeless and had met the boy a couple weeks before the slaying, Kessinger said.

Cambron has a criminal record but Kessinger did not have details on any past charges. Cambron was picked up by police in the Highlands on Wednesday night and arrested at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, according to the report.

It said Cambron attempted to hide the knife after the attack.

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