An 18-year-old childhood friend was arrested for the alleged murder and rape of the 16-year-old teenager whose remains was found in an isolated patch of desert in northern Nevada earlier this month, Thursday.
Bryce Dickey, childhood friend and high school pal of the victim Gabrielle "Britney" Ujlaky is being charged of felony murder during a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault; or open murder with the use of a deadly weapon.
Ujlaky was reported missing on March 8, 2020 and her body was found at Burner Basin after three days.
Prosecutors from Elko county claim that the victim was choked and stabbed by the suspect, although the teen's cause of death has not been disclosed yet. According to the prosecutors, Dickey could face death penalty if proven guilty of Ujlaky's murder.
Dickey was reportedly the last person who saw the victim before she went missing, he also claimed that she was taken by a tall man with a cowboy hat and was driving a green pickup truck.
Speculations arose when a used condom with Dickey's DNA was found on the victim's body. The police also added that they found Dickey's blood-stained boots which strengthened the allegations against him.
However, Dickey explained the condom by admitting that he had sex with the victim the day she vanished. Investigators did not disclose the information if the sex was consensual but Dickey is also being charged with sexual assault.
Disproving Dickey's claims of having sexual relations with the victim, Ujlaky's friends and family has previously stated that she was not sexually active and has not expressed any romantic interest on the suspect.
The girl's mother, Alisha Ujlakay, also said that knowing her daughter, there was nothing consensual about what happened. She further added that, Dickey whom she described as a "shy cowboy" was like a big brother to her daughter and that he was dating another teenager during that time.
Suspect allegedly confessed his feelings for victim
Cheyenne Fry, a friend of the victim told Oxygen that Dickey has previously admitted having romantic feelings for Ujlaky, but she rejected him. She also said that she believes Dickey did not want to take no for an answer, thus committing the crime to get his way.
Prosecutors on the case have not definitively stated yet whether they think Dickey planned the murder or if it was committed in the height of the assault. There has not been any public release of the possible motive on Ujlaky's killing either, and the sheriff department also refused to make a comment.
Suspect attended vigils for the victim
In the past weeks before his arrest, it was reported that Dickey was still present during candlelit vigils and memorial celebrations in honor of the victim.
According to Fry, Dickey even comforted her and hugged her, adding that she cannot believe the audacity of the guy to do that and show his face in front of everyone.
Dickey even posted on Facebook how he was mourning the loss of his "sis", saying her life has ended too soon.