Friend of murder suspect says teen pondered killing

ST. LOUIS | A friend says 15-year-old murder suspect Alyssa Bustamante mentioned in January that she wondered what it would be like to kill someone.

Jennifer Meyer told St. Louis TV station KMOV that Bustamante made the comment during a birthday party. But Meyer said she did not think Bustamante intended to kill anyone.

“I was at her party, and she kind of just took me off to the side randomly and she's like, 'You know, I wonder what it would be like to kill somebody,' because I guess she was mad at one of her friends there, but it just seemed kind of strange,” Meyer said. “But you wouldn't logically think one of your friends would kill somebody.”

Authorities say Bustamante has given them a similar explanation for the Oct. 21 killing of 9-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Olten. They say Bustamante strangled, stabbed and cut Elizabeth's throat because she wanted to know what it was like to kill someone.

Law officers say Bustamante led them to Elizabeth's body two days later in a wooded area near their homes in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City.

Last week, Bustamante was indicted as an adult on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. If convicted of first-degree murder, she would face life in prison without parole.

Meyer said she had been friends with Bustamante for several years and that the two attended birthday parties and sleepovers. Meyer said she last spoke with Bustamante two days before Elizabeth was killed.

Meyer said Bustamante became angry when Meyer refused to go with her to a party that involved drugs and then told Bustamante not to bring them to Meyer's house.

“I have a little brother and sister, and I was like, 'I don't think that's a good idea,'” Meyer said. “And then she started kind of getting angry.”

Bustamante has been held at the Morgan County jail, but her attorney has sought to have her transferred to a state psychiatric hospital because the teen shows signs of severe depression and anxiety.