Murder Under the Friday Night Lights is highlighting the case of Gabriella Doolin, who was murdered by Timothy Madden in Scottsville, Kentucky.
On Nov. 14, 2015, Gabriella went with her parents to watch her older brother play in a pee wee football game at Allen County Scottsville High School.
Gabriella cheered him on before eventually wandering off to play hide-and-seek with her friends. It was then that she vanished without a trace.
At 7:40 p.m., the game was shut down when Gabriella’s mother, Amy Doolin, asked the stadium officials to call out the 7-year-old’s name.
When there was still no sign of Gabriella, Amy contacted the Scottsville Police Department and reported her daughter missing.
When officers arrived on the scene, a search for the second-grader commenced.
Gabriella Doolin was found dead minutes after she went missing
At 8:05 p.m., volunteer searchers notified police that they had found Gabriella face down in a creek, located in a wooded area behind the high school.
On Nov. 16, 2016, an autopsy revealed that Gabriella died from manual strangulation, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.
When witnesses identified Madden as the man in his work clothes who acted suspiciously at the football game, they went to his home, where he lived with his wife and five children.
Madden, who worked as a construction worker, allowed detectives to enter his home and collect a sample of his DNA.
Madden knew Gabriella and her family. He went to high school with her father, and his daughter was on the same cheerleading team as Gabriella.
DNA evidence linked Timothy Madden to the murder of Gabriella Doolin
On Nov. 20, 2015, police arrested Madden after his DNA matched the DNA collected from the crime scene.
He was taken to the Allen County Detention Center for processing before he was transported to the Barren County Jail, where he was held on a $1 million bond.
Madden was charged with murder, kidnapping, sodomy, and rape of a victim under 12.
He denied having anything to do with Gabriella’s murder. He said, “I’m sorry for their loss, but it wasn’t me.”
Madden was facing the death penalty until he took a plea deal.
On Aug. 24, 2019, Madden pleaded guilty to murder in Allen Circuit Court and entered Alford pleas for the rape and sodomy charges.
A judge sentenced Madden to life in prison without the chance of parole.
Murder Under the Friday Night Lights airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.