Texas police have named a Guatemalan migrant as a person of interest in connection to the alleged murder of an 11-year-old girl whose father found her strangled to death and stuffed under a bed where she lived in Pasadena, Texas, on August 12.
Police have identified the individual as 18-year-old Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez, who lived at the apartment complex where Maria Gonzalez was also living, KHOU reported Friday, noting the man disappeared on Monday:
We want to provide an update on the case involving the Murder of 11-year-old Maria Gonzalez, who was found deceased by…
According to Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger, officials spoke with and collected DNA from Garcia-Rodriguez not long after the child’s body was found, but he was not their focus at the time.
In a social media post Friday, the department said the apartment complex’s workers had cooperated with authorities and none of them appeared to have any involvement in the case.
Officials shared more details about their investigation:
While investigators were processing the crime scene, a single key was located inside the apartment and collected as evidence. This key has since been processed by our crime scene investigators and was not found to open any doors at the victim’s residence. Our investigators also confirmed that the young girl’s body was inside a plastic trash bag that was placed inside a laundry basket and concealed under a bed inside the home.
The child’s father, Carmelo Gonzalez, left her home by herself on August 12 because he had to go to work, according to Breitbart News.
Maria Gonzalez (11) was murdered while her dad was at work. She was sexually assaulted and strangled to death on Saturday in Pasadena, Texas. The last time he heard from his daughter, she sent him a text saying someone was knocking at the door. When he returned home, he found… pic.twitter.com/LUuDYgPHdX
— Rose (@901Lulu) August 16, 2023
When she messaged him saying someone was knocking on their door, he told her not to open it, and she said she would obey him. That was the last time he heard from her despite calling her repeatedly.
He then asked relatives living nearby to check on her, but they could not find her. When Gonzalez made it home from work a few hours later, he found the girl’s body underneath the bed and called 911 for help.
The medical examiner concluded she died of asphyxiation due to strangulation. She had also been sexually assaulted.
“Gonzalez is not considered a suspect because his alibi appears to be solid,” the Breitbart News report said.
According to KHOU, the key authorities found opened the apartment where Garcia-Rodriguez had been staying with two other individuals who said they were only acquainted with him. Those individuals had their keys and told officials they tried to get the man’s key from him before he left, but he told them he wanted to hold onto it.
However, Bruegger said the young man did not have a key, adding, “There was a key to that apartment in the victim’s apartment.”
The KHOU report continued:
Bruegger said Garcia-Rodriguez is Guatemalan who is in the U.S. illegally. Earlier this year, he was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection before he was released to sponsors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was there that his sponsors had reached out to their connections in Pasadena and told them that Garcia-Rodriguez needed work and a place to stay. That’s how Garcia-Rodriguez ended up at the same apartment complex Maria stayed in.
Law enforcement have since contacted federal officials “and flagged Garcia-Rodriguez with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security just in case he tries to cross the border,” the article stated.
The KHOU report noted Gonzalez and his daughter arrived from Guatemala four years ago while her mother remains in their home country.
In July, an illegal alien accused of murder was counted among the more than two million illegals freed into the United States as President Joe Biden’s (D) Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stood by, Breitbart News reported, adding the wave of releases occurred as a result of the president’s catch and release network.
FLASHBACK: Ted Cruz to Border Chief Mayorkas: “Your Refusal to Do Your Job Is Revolting”