Monday, February 6, 2023

The Murder of Tristyn Bailey


Tristyn Bailey was brutally murdered during the early morning hours of May 9th, 2021. The young girl was only 13-years-old. Shortly after her body was found, a 14-year-old named Aiden Fucci was charged as an adult with Tristyn's murder in the first degree.

Tristyn was a 7th grader at a Patriot Oaks Academy in St. Augustine, Florida. She was a cheerleader and beloved member of the community. While it does not appear that Tristyn and Aiden Fucci ran in the same social circles, they still knew each other. Aiden also attended Patriot Oaks Academy, and he and Tristyn lived in the same neighborhood in St. Johns County. 

On the morning of May 9th, Tristyn's family members awoke and quickly realized that Tristyn was not anywhere inside the house. By 10 AM, Tristyn's parents called 911 to report her missing. Her parents told the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office that they had last seen her around midnight. However, after speaking with various other teens in the neighborhood, the Sheriff's Office learned that Tristyn was seen around 1:15 AM at the Durbin Amenity Center--which is within walking distance from her house.

Investigators looked at surveillance cameras in the neighborhood, and ultimately found footage of two people matching the descriptions of Tristyn Bailey and Aiden Fucci walking together on Saddlestone Drive at 1:45 AM. Around 3:30 AM, the same surveillance camera captured only one person - presumably Aiden - walking back in the other direction. 

A search for Tristyn in the surrounding area was conducted. Around 6 PM, a searcher found a body in a wooded area near a retention pond, located just east of Saddlestone Drive. Shortly thereafter, the body was identified as that of Tristyn Bailey. She had been stabbed numerous times. 

Investigators questioned Aiden Fucci very early into the investigation. He reportedly made many conflicting statements. At some point, Aiden was into the back of a police car. While in the vehicle, he posted a selfie to Snapchat with the caption, "Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately." It's unclear if this selfie was taken before or after his arrest. Aiden was finally arrested around 3:30 AM on May 10th, after police found various items and pieces of clothing covered in blood in his bedroom. 

Members of the community were shocked not only by Tristyn's violent death, but also by the fact that another child in the community was being charged with her murder. Many were also shocked by Aiden's seemingly insensitive Snapchat that he posted regarding Tristyn's disappearance. In the days and weeks that followed Aiden's arrest, many more appalling details about the case were revealed.

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Aiden was initially charged with second-degree murder. Following his arrest, many social media posts surfaced from other teens who claimed to be involved in the crime. These posts also seemingly supported Aiden and contained disparaging messages about Tristyn. Investigators looked into these Instagram posts and accounts, but have maintained that Aiden was the only one who participated in the act of murdering Tristyn. 

Weeks later his arrest, Aiden's charges were upgraded to first-degree murder. At this time, prosecutors decided to try Aiden as an adult as well.  It was then revealed that Aiden's friends had told investigators that Aiden has expressed that he wanted to kill someone. While he did not name Tristyn or any other specific target, Aiden did reportedly tell friends that he wanted to kill someone by bringing them into the woods and stabbing them. It appears that Aiden did exactly this to Tristyn. The stabbing was also particularly brutal. Tristyn had been stabbed over 114 times. 49 of her wounds were defensive wounds--indicating that she had fought for her life. 

While Aiden has not confessed to stabbing Tristyn, he did reportedly admit that he was with her on the night of her murder. He reportedly told police that he and Tristyn left a mutual friend's house together and got into an argument shortly thereafter. Aiden also admitted that he shoved her to the ground. Since he has already made numerous conflicting statements, it is unclear if investigators believe this version of events--however they are certain that he is Tristyn's killer. 

In early June 2021, Aiden's mother Crystal Lane Smith was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in this case. She's accused of scrubbing the jeans Aiden wore on the night of Tristyn's murder in their sink. Forensic testing on the sink revealed that there were traces of blood in the drain. Crystal has been released on bail, however Aiden remains in custody. Their charges are pending. 

UPDATE (March 2023): 

In February of 2023, Aiden Fucci pleaded guilty to the murder of Tristyn Bailey.

Aiden’s trial was due to begin on February 6th, but he ultimately decided to enter a plea of guilty – voiding the need for a trial altogether. There was reportedly not a plea deal made with the prosecution.

After pleading guilty, Aiden made a statement of apology to the Bailey family. In March of 2023, he was sentenced to life in prison.


  1. This is one of the worst cases I've literally ever seen and I hope that she is resting easy. This horrible and I hope he pays the time. He took a young child's life and that's something you can NEVER repay. Just imagine how her mother, father or if she had any siblings, imagine how heartbreaking that feels to know that she was killed by her classmate.

    1. My 15 year old sister was murdered by her boyfriend who was her classmate. I can tell you it's the worst feeling. Not just that, his mom helped him cover it up just like this piece of shit aiden's mom did. Only difference was my sisters boyfriend and his mom got away with it cause his dad was best friends with the captain of the state police in my area at the time. I hope Tristyn and her family get the justice they rightfully deserve.

    2. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you've been through. So many cases are dropped due to crooked cops. You and your family deserve justice as well. I am sorry you haven't been able to get it. Stay strong, friend.

    3. Now look up Lily Peters