Possible earlier connection between 12-year-old murder victim an - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Possible earlier connection between 12-year-old murder victim and suspect

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man accused of killing a 12-year-old boy has been appointed a public defender. WDRB News has also learned of a possible connection between the suspect and victim.

We now know that Joseph Cambron once received services through a program at the YMCA. The organization may have also been very close to doing the same for the 12-year-old murder victim.

"We were on the lookout for a 12-year-old that might be homeless," said Steve Tarver, CEO of YMCA of Greater Louisville.

Tarver says they didn't have a name, but suspects Ray Etheridge was the 12-year-old his street outreach team was looking for earlier this week.

"And our folks were made aware of a 12-year-old boy who was homeless...we're not sure exactly who that was...it could well have been the young victim in this case."

That 12-year-old was never found but earlier this week, the body of Ray Etheridge was discovered in Cherokee Park, and a short time later police arrested Joseph Cambron.

"Mr. Cambron, you are charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence," said prosecutor Karl Price.

"This is a tragic set of circumstances," said Tarver.

He also says he can say for sure if Etheridge was connected to YMCA or it's Safe Place program.

"Our last contact with him in that arena was about a year ago."

But the organization did provide help or services to Cambron.

"Mr. Cambron did participate for a short period of time in a transitional educational program that was part of a youth development center that we have on our Safe Place campus," said Tarver.

Police say both the victim and suspect were homeless, Tarver hopes this tragedy will remind others of the 300 Safe Place signs posted across the city.

"That triggers an immediate care system by which a child can be picked up and taken to our shelter and evaluated. All they have to do is say 'I need some help."

WDRB News has also learned that Cambron is not the only one who spent the night in jail.

The 12-year-old murder victim's father, Ronald Etheridge, was arrested this week for missing a pre-trial conference earlier this year.  He has since been released.

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