Last night, Hobgood asked City Manager Scott Wood to secure a third party “unbiased professional” to review the Police Department’s actions in the hours and days after Jorelys, 7, was reported missing.
“In just the past few days, some concern has been expressed as to how the investigation was conducted on behalf of our Police Department,” he said.
Hobgood said the outside review will determine what the Police Department did right and what areas it could improve in.
“It is my opinion that a review of the activities and operation of our police department as it relates to this case is in order,” he said.
Jorelys disapperard around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 from a playground area at the River Ridge at Canton apartment complex, where she lived.
Her body was later found on Dec. 5 in a metal trash bin, and an autopsy determined she had been severely beaten, stabbed and sexually assaulted.
Ryan McCabe Brunn, 20, a maintenance worker at the complex, was arrested and charged with her murder and making false statements to the police.
A funeral service for Rivera took place last Saturday and she was buried earlier this week in Puerto Rico.
Hobgood said the idea behind the inquiry is not to lay blame at the feet of anyone or any department.
“The purpose of the review is to learn from any shortcomings and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our department and for no other reason for any future criminal investigations we may have,” he said.
Hobgood said he’s personally spoken with Canton Police Chief Jeff Lance, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan to express “gratitude on behalf of our city” for their efforts.
Canton Police, sheriff’s deputies and GBI and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials led a joint effort to find Jorelys’ body and to make an arrest in the case.
Wood said Thursday night he’s been in contact with a third-party individual, and they continue to discuss the process “by which we could proceed and what associated cost” may be incurred.
City Councilman John Beresford said he was appreciative of the mayor’s statement and Wood’s decision to look into the case.
“It’s something that we need to get done as soon as possible,” he said.
Councilman-elect Hooky Huffman also applauded the mayor’s efforts.
Huffman, whose ward includes the apartment complex, said he felt the decision was appropriate.
“It’s appropriate to take the opportunity from a sad event to see what we can learn from that event,” he said, adding he believed the police department has performed well during the investigation.