Murdered Girl's Memorial Vandalized Again

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The lonely memorial to a young murder victim has been desecrated again.

Vandals last week struck the memorial cross to Krystal Steadman along U.S. 50 west of Carson City near where the body of the 9-year-old was found in March 2000.

Carson City sheriff's deputies said vandals sprayed black paint on the cross sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday. A spray can was recovered near the site.

"Why would someone do this?" asked sheriff's Deputy Bill Richards.

In March 2002, vandals damaged the cross with a saw and tossed toys left in her memory into a nearby canyon. An earlier wooden cross with a plaque was stolen.

Krystal, a fourth-grader from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., disappeared March 19, 2000 and her nude, battered body was found the next day.

Thomas Soria Sr. and his son, Thomas Jr., were charged with the crime. The son pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence without parole. His father committed suicide in jail a day after his murder trial began.