About three hours after Sierra Newbold disappeared from her West Jordan home, a neighbor spotted a man hovering just yards away from what police would later determine was the 6-year-old girl's watery grave.
The man, the witness recalled, was acting oddly at 5:30 a.m. that June 26 day. He was hunched over at the waist, holding his hands out in front of him and rocking back and forth about 60 yards from where Sierra Newbold's pink pajama bottoms and white underwear were later found in a freshly burned field.
The homeowner told investigators that as he watched from his kitchen window, the man, who was dressed in a baggy shirt and long shorts, walked toward an abandoned truck, but eventually picked up a dark colored bicycle and began riding east on the roadway, across the canal where Sierra's body was later found.
Five search warrants unsealed Tuesday in 3rd District Court in West Jordan painted a picture of West Jordan investigators' hunt for Sierra's alleged killer: 41-year-old Terry Lee Black.
The documents were released following a request to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill last week by The Salt Lake Tribune.
West Jordan police began looking for Sierra after her mother's 911 call at about 7:30 a.m. on June 26. Officers found the girl nude from the waist down, apparently shoved into a cluster of reeds in the West Jordan canal, a few blocks away from her home. A purple blanket was found floating nearby.
Nearly 100 yards away from Sierra's partially clad body, officers found the girl's pink SpongeBob pajama bottoms and white underwear.
Just hours before the grisly discovery about 2:05 a.m. on June 26 video surveillance at the Newbold home had captured a man dressed in a white T-shirt entering the home, near 2300 West 7000 South. The man entered through a sliding glass door that Sierra's mother would later discover had not been locked, the warrants show.
Authorities have alleged that surveillance footage captured Black, who lived nearby and infrequently attended the same church as Sierra's family, breaking into the home.
Sierra's mother told detectives the girl had gone to sleep around 8:30 p.m. the night before her body was found, and the parents went to bed at about midnight.
On June 29 three days after Sierra's death Black allegedly walked into a Wells Fargo at 7869 S. Redwood Road and told a teller he needed $100, the warrants show. When the teller asked for identification, Black allegedly said, "This is a robbery." Black then held up four fingers. The teller asked if he wanted $400 and he said that he wanted $4,000, according to the warrants.
The teller told Black she would need to go to the bank's vault for the money and, when she turned around, Black walked out of the bank, according to police.
Police say Black quickly left the bank, and attempted to get inside a Jeep. He was confronted by a woman who recognized the vehicle as her friend's, which had just been stolen from a nearby Deseret Industries parking lot, a warrant shows.
After the confrontation, Black left the area, police say. He was eventually found in front of a nearby restaurant, and arrested by police.
According to the search warrants, a detective noticed dark stains on the man's hands and clothes that looked like they could have come from the burned field behind the Newbolds' home. Police later took DNA swabs of Black's genitals and found Sierra's DNA profile, authorities have said.
Detectives discovered that Black lived within 200 yards of where Sierra's body was found, according to search warrants. A detective also noticed Black was "covered in black soot, which is consistent with the black soot found on Sierra's body and clothing," according to search warrants.
When Black's wife was later shown a picture of her husband from the day he was arrested, she told investigators she had last seen him June 20 when he left and didn't return.
Black's wife also said he was wearing the same clothing as when he left nine days earlier a darker-colored Los Angeles Angels shirt and black shorts with red stripes down the side that extended below the knee.
When investigators spoke with Black, he told them his wife had kicked him out, but would not say where he had stayed during the interim.
In addition to searching the Newbold home, West Jordan police requested search warrants for two vacant homes that were damaged in a recent fire. Police were interested because several windows that had been boarded up were open, but they found no evidence inside the homes, the warrants show.
On Tuesday, Black, 41, remained in the Salt Lake County jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
Black is charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and rape of a child. The murder charge carries the possibility of a death sentence.
He is due again in West Jordan's court on Oct. 9 for a scheduling hearing.
Suspect held on $2 million bail
Jailed • Terry Lee Black, 41, the alleged killer of Sierra Newbold, remained in the Salt Lake County jail Tuesday in lieu of $2 million bail.
Charges • Black is charged with aggravated murder, child kidnapping and rape of a child. The murder charge carries the possibility of a death sentence.
What's next? • He is due again in West Jordan's court on Oct. 9 for a scheduling hearing.