Falls Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering 5-Year-Old Girl

August 28, 2012 Updated Aug 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM EDT

By WKBW News

August 28, 2012 Updated Aug 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM EDT

(Niagara Falls, NY) - Two teenagers who police say are connected to the death of a 5-year-old girl from Cheektowaga faced a judge Tuesday morning for their arraignment in Niagara Falls City Court.

16-year-old John Robert Freeman is charged with second degree murder, after police say the teenager killed Isabella Tennant with his bare hands. The little girl was found dead Monday morning. Her body was wrapped in a garbage bag and then thrown in a trash can. She had been staying with her great-grandmother at her home on 6th Street, while her mother was at work.

Family members call Freeman, "a close family friend," who they trusted to watch the little girl.

Police say Freeman's friend, 18-year-old Tyler Best helped him dispose of her body. Best went to the police department on Monday around 10:00 a.m. and led officers to where her body was. Best faces a felony charge of tampering with evidence.

Both teens pleaded not guilty during their court appearance. Isabella's family left court Tuesday morning without making any statements.