Prior to the 2009 cold-blooded murder of her neighbor Elizabeth Olten in rural St. Martins, Missouri, Alyssa Bustamante appeared to be a wayward but average adolescent.
Alyssa Bustamante appeared to be a typical adolescent girl. Her friends praised her for being “always so lovely and liked by everyone… she was just beautiful!”
However, the 15-year-old girl had a far darker personality hidden inside of her, as evidenced by her online identity.
Alyssa Bustamante’s virtual alter persona would predict her most terrible deed—the murder of nine-year-old Elizabeth Olten—which may have startled her friends and family.
Alyssa Bustamante And Her Difficult Early Years.
Alyssa Bustamante lived with her grandparents from 2002 to 2009. Michelle Bustamante, her mother, has a history of drug and alcohol misuse that resulted in arrests and jail time. Caesar Bustamante, her father, was incarcerated for violence.
As a result, Alyssa’s grandparents in California were granted legal custody of her and her three younger brothers. The children left their old life behind and relocated to a remote, ranch-like property near St. Martins, Missouri, just west of Jefferson City, the state capital.
Despite her parents’ difficulties, Alyssa excelled in high school, earning A and B grades.
By all appearances, Alyssa Bustamante was a typical little child, living with her grandparents who were able to give her a stable home in the absence of her parents. Her friends predicted that she would jokingly write poems. She participated in various youth activities while regularly attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
However, Alyssa attempted suicide in 2007. The kid started taking anti-depressants after staying in St. Martins for 10 days as a mental health inpatient. Alyssa cut herself multiple times despite taking medication. According to her friends, she routinely displayed the scars on her wrists.
Her friend told KRCG-TV, “Well, she was obviously on the anti-depressants.” She would often say, “Oh, I need to take my medicine,” as we went upstairs.
Alyssa was a totally different person when she was online.
On her Twitter page, Alyssa Bustamante discussed her disdain for authority. According to KRCG-TV, one message stated, “Bad decisions create amazing stories.” She mentioned “killing people” and “cutting” as her hobbies on MySpace and YouTube. Additionally, she uploaded a YouTube video in which she attempted to convince two of her brothers to touch an electrified fence.
Later, on October 21, 2009, Alyssa Bustamante revealed her most sinister fantasies.
The Case Of Elizabeth Olten’s Murder
Elizabeth Olten, age 9, resided four homes away from the Bustamante family. To play with Alyssa and her siblings, she frequently came over. Patricia Preiss, Olten’s mother, claims that Olten wanted to go play at Alyssa’s house the night before she was killed.
The last time Preiss saw her daughter alive was at 5 o’clock that afternoon. When Elizabeth didn’t return home by 6 o’clock, her mother realized something was wrong.
FBI officers questioned Alyssa and took her diary the day after Elizabeth vanished. Authorities discovered a small hole behind Alyssa’s home that seemed to be a burial. The teen admitted to the FBI that she only enjoyed digging holes.
Authorities later discovered a second shallow burial behind the Bustamante residence that was covered in leaves. There was Elizabeth’s body there.
Alyssa was detained after being charged with first-degree murder by the prosecution. Everyone was in disbelief.
A friend told KRCG-TV, “Before this, before all of this, she was a normal 15-year-old girl.” “She’s not actually like this. The Alyssa I knew was not this one.
Inside Alyssa Bustamante’s Plea Agreement And Trial
The New York Daily News reported that Alyssa Bustamante’s diary post, however, exposed a far more heinous character.
Investigators were able to read the original writing that Alyssa had covered up by erasing the blue ink from her diary, which detailed the ecstasy she experienced after killing Elizabeth Olten:
“I just fucking killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead. I don’t know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the ‘ohmygawd I can’t do this’ feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church now…lol.”
Alyssa Bustamante admitted killing Elizabeth Olten in court. She claimed that she stabbed Elizabeth in the chest and then slashed the girl’s throat. Alyssa then placed her victim’s body in the hand-dug, small grave that was located behind their residences.
Then, less than two years after the murder, and a few weeks before the start of her 2012 trial for first-degree murder, Alyssa agreed to a plea bargain to the lesser charge of second-degree murder in order to avoid the death penalty. She might be released from prison on parole after 30 years as part of the plea agreement.
Alyssa Bustamante said she would not have pleaded guilty in 2012 if she had heard about a U.S. Supreme Court judgment that would have impacted how the justice system should handle cases involving minors and first-degree murder charges after hiring a new lawyer in 2014.
The attorney’s request for a new sentencing was rejected by the judge in the case.
Where is Alyssa Bustamante?
The grieving mother of Elizabeth Olten, Patricia Preiss, thought the initial sentence was still too lenient. She referred to Alyssa Bustamante as a monster in court and declared that she detested everything about her.
Preiss referred to Alyssa as “an awful monster” during the sentencing, and the judge reportedly had to order her to stop because of how moving and passionate her statement was.
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed in October 2015, Preiss sought damages from the convicted killer. Two years later, the case was settled for $5 million. The hospital where Alyssa had been admitted was named in an initial wrongful death case.
Due to Preiss’ belief that Alyssa murdered her kid while under their supervision, Pathways Behavioral Healthcare and two of its workers were named as defendants. She felt that the health system ought to have anticipated Alyssa’s aggressive inclinations and taken precautions.
Alyssa Bustamante will ultimately owe Patricia Preiss $5 million plus interest at a rate of 9% per year even if a judge dismissed the claim against Pathways.
Whatever the outcome of the trials, it will never change the fact that a young girl lost her life as a result of a troubled teen’s irrational and violent whims.
- Horng, Eric; Ferran, Lee; Friedman, Emily (November 18, 2009). “Teen Murder Suspect Was Indicted, Wanted to Know ‘What It Felt Like to Kill'”. ABC News. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- “Woman reaches $5 million settlement in daughter’s death”.
- DeLong, William (November 13, 2018). “Alyssa Bustamante: The 15-Year-Old Who Slaughtered Her Nine-Year-Old Neighbor For The Thrill”. All That’s Interesting (PBH Network). Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- McCarty, Melissa (March 20, 2017). “Diary of a ‘thrill-kill’: Missouri teen Alyssa Bustamante murders neighbor girl, records event in journal”. True Crime Daily. Retrieved July 14,