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Friday, January 20, 2012 - 3:43am

Canton Police Chief Out After Botched Search

The police chief of a north Georgia town has resigned after a scathing report found his department violated its policies while investigating the disappearance of a 7-year-old girl whose body was found days later in a trash compactor at her apartment complex.

Canton City Manager Scott Wood said Thursday that Canton Police Chief Jeff Lance stepped down after an independent review revealed his department made mistakes in the search for Jorelys Rivera. The report said the department treated the case as a routine "runaway or missing child" and assumed she would turn up.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections said a 20-year-old maintenance worker who recently pleaded guilty to killing Rivera has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

Corrections spokeswoman Kristen Stancil says Ryan Brunn was found unresponsive in his prison cell at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. Brunn was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:37 p.m.

Brunn pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rivera’s death Tuesday. At the hearing, Brunn apologized to Rivera's family before a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

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