Madison Sparrow (SOLVED)

Disappeared from: Library Ave (near Farm Ln), Newark, Delaware
Date Murdered: October 2, 2020 (Friday)
Date Recovered: October 5, 2020 (Monday)
Abandoned By: Male and Possible Accomplices
Circumstances:

Madison (‘Madi’) Sparrow is fondly remembered as an introverted and introspective young woman, who was nonetheless kind and full of cheer for those who knew her. A junior at the Newark Charter School, Madi had dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher someday.

Madison was funny, outgoing, and vivacious. . . . a loving and compassionate person. She had an infectious smile and gave spirit lifting hugs. Her presence in the lives of all that knew her will forever be deeply missed.

Funeral Home Obituary

Rohn Satjar, a close friend spoke at the candlelight vigil held in her memory, and described her as a source of ‘light’ in how she gave and lived selflessly.

She will be dearly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones.


October 2, 2020 appeared like any other Friday, if anything in 2020 can be considered normal. Madi left her home after telling her parents she planned to grab ice cream with a friend and then go shopping for her sister’s birthday present.

When she left, Madison was wearing black tights, denim shorts, a blue hoodie with “Wildwood Beach, New Jersey” lettering, and white ghost earrings. She was about 5’4″ and weighed around 106lbs, with long brunette hair and wearing glasses.


After stopping at Dairy Queen around 3:00pm (15:00), Madi was eventually dropped off on Library Avenue, close to Farm Lane.

*One source quotes the mother as saying Madison was first let out at Wawa near Limestone Road instead along with a strange male, but this has not been referenced by other sources.

Facebook Post informing the public that Madison was missing

She was last seen around 3:40pm (15:40) climbing into a white truck with three men. Police have not said whether the truck and its riders were just giving her a ride or whether Noah was in the truck himself.

Around 3:30pm (15:30), family and friends received a series of strange texts from Madison’s phone before it abruptly turned off. The texts referenced running away or a desire to leave, but it made little sense to the readers. Madison had not taken anything with her, and had left her credit cards and money at home.

When Madison failed to return home by that evening, her parents were convinced something was wrong. They filed a missing person’s report with police around 8:30pm (20:30), who promptly issued a Gold Alert (usually used for persons with disabilities, the elderly, or those under suicide watch).

Gold Alert issued for Madison Sparrow

A full search for Madison was undertaken both by police and the community at large. Farms and any isolated areas were considered potential areas of interest, and many people turned up to help with the walking searches.

Finally, an interview with Madi’s friends attracted police attention to her ex-boyfriend, Noah Sharp (19 y/o) — another Newark native. After an interrogation, Noah allegedly confessed to deliberately planning the murder with one or more other as-yet-unnamed accomplices.

Noah’s confession apparently guided police to the location where Madison was killed, in the wooded area behind Maclary Elementary School. Noah supposedly struck Madison a fatal blow on the head with an aluminum baseball bat.

Police later found the murder weapon, blood, and part of Madi’s clothing in the area Noah named.

Noah also pointed them to another, even more isolated area close to the I-95 | Highway 896 intersection where Madison’s body was finally found on Monday, October 5.

Map of key locations
Map of Key Locations

Noah Sharp was arrested on October 7, 2020 for the brutal, potentially pre-meditated death of Madison. Police charged Noah with first degree murder, conspiracy, and possession of a deadly weapon while committing a felony. Sharp was assigned a $1,021,000 bail by the court.

For a small community (pop. 33,000), this whole tragedy has been a great shock to the town of Newark, Delaware.

On Thursday and Friday, the communities in Delaware and New Jersey gathered together to hold candlelight vigils in her memory. More than 400 people attended and her family and friends were able to share fond recollections of Madison’s all-to-short life.

Candlelight vigil for Madison Sparrow

For anyone who wishes to donate, the family asks that all donations be given to Newark Charter School in Madison’s name. Make checks payable to the school and mail them to:

200 McIntire Dr.
Newark, DE, 19711

Key Descriptors

  • Date of Birth: Unknown
  • Age at Death: 17 Years Old
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Gender at Birth: Female
  • Hair: Long, Brunette
  • Eye Color: Dark Eyes
  • Height: 5’4″ (163cm)
  • Weight: 106lbs (48kg)

Distinguishing Marks or Factors

  • Glasses

Clothing

  • Black tights
  • Denim Shorts
  • Blue Hoodie with “Wildwood Beach, New Jersey” Lettering
  • White Ghost Earrings

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Incident, Please Contact Det. M. Csapo with the Delaware State Police Department at (+1) 302 741-2729 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 | online

Missing Person Poster for Madison Sparrow

Resources

  • Brooks, B. (2020) ‘Newark teen charged in murder of 17-year-old Madison Sparrow’, ABC News, 7 October. Available from: Link
  • CBS 3 (2020) ‘Missing 17-Year-Old Madison Sparrow Found Dead, Delaware State Police Say’, 6 October. Available from: Link
  • Delaware State Police (2020) ‘Delaware State Police Arrest Newark Man for Homicide of Missing Newark Teen- Newark’, Press Release, 6 October. Available from: Link
  • Greene, S. (2020) ‘Hundreds gather to honor Newark Charter student with candlelight vigil’, WDEL, 9 October. Available from: Link
  • Harris, C. (2020) ‘Missing Delaware Teen Was Beaten to Death in Woods — and Police Say Ex and Others Were Involved’, People, 7 October. Available from: Link
  • Hughes, I. (2020) ‘Wise beyond her years:’ Hundreds turn out to Newark Charter to remember Madison Sparrow’, Delaware Online, 10 October. Available from: Link
  • Kalmbachere, C. (2020) ‘Ex-Boyfriend Admits to Beating Madison Sparrow to Death with Aluminum Baseball Bat: Police’, Law & Crime, 7 October. Available from: Link
  • Mammarella, K. (2020) ‘Fields searched for Newark teen missing since Friday’, Town Square, 4 October. Available from: Link
  • Mammarella, K. (2020) ‘Body of missing Newark teen has been discovered’, Town Square, 4 October. Available from: Link
  • Shannon, J. (2020) ‘Police, family searching for missing 17-year-old Newark girl’, Newark Post, 3 October. Available from: Link
  • Shannon, J. (2020) ‘Court docs: Ex-boyfriend confessed to killing Newark Charter student with a baseball bat’, Newark Post, 7 October. Available from: Link
  • Shannon, J. (2020) ‘Hundreds gather at Newark Charter to remember Madison Sparrow’, Newark Post, 12 October. Available from: Link
  • Tanenbaum, M. (2020) ‘Missing Delaware teen Madison Sparrow found dead, police say’, Philly Voice, 5 October. Available from: Link
  • Tanenbaum, M. (2020) ‘Ex-boyfriend charged in death of Delaware teen Madison Sparrow’, Philly Voice, 9 October. Available from: Link
  • Taylor, S. (2020) ’19-year-old ex-boyfriend arrested in alleged murder of missing teen Madison Sparrow’, Blaze, 7 October. Available from: Link
  • Tron, G. (2020) ‘High Schooler’s Ex-Boyfriend Allegedly Admits To Beating Her To Death With Baseball Bat’, Oxygen, 7 October. Available from: Link

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