Around 3:30pm on November 8, 2000, 12 year old Courtney Sconce was returning for her daily trip to a convenience store near her home in Rancho Cordova when she was abducted. She was last seen at the corner of Glenhaven and Cordova Lane, just a few short blocks from the convenience store. Just before nightfall, her body was found on the bank of the Feather River. She had been raped, beaten, and ultimately strangled by her attacker.
Several months went by without finding her killer. While investigators worked on solving the mystery, the Rancho Cordova Community mourned. Her friends, family, and people mourning the loss started to gather at the corner where she was last seen. The corner turned into a makeshift memorial and overflowed with candles, teddy bears, and blue and yellow ribbons, Courtney’s favorite colors.
Eight months after Courtney’s body was found, investigators zeroed in on 19-year-old Justin Michael Weinberger based on DNA evidence. Weinberger had purchased a gun on the day he abducted Courtney, and just 2 days prior to the murder his home was raided and his collection of child pornography was seized. He ultimately pled guilty and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Before sentencing, he said, “Something told me that if I’m gonna get away with it, I’ll have to kill her.” He remains behind bars and will for the rest of his life.