Pasadena, Texas – In a heart-breaking incident that has left a community reeling, an 11-year-old girl was discovered strangled to death under her bed in her family’s apartment in Pasadena, Texas. Law enforcement officials are grappling with the horrifying crime as they work to piece together the events that led to her untimely demise.
The victim, identified as Maria Gonzalez, was found lifeless on Saturday afternoon by her father, Carmelo Gonzalez, 32, upon his return from work. Authorities have confirmed that the young girl had been sexually assaulted before her tragic end.
The Pasadena Police Department was alerted to the grim discovery when a call was placed to emergency services around 3 p.m. on Saturday. Carmelo Gonzalez reported that his daughter was unresponsive and not breathing. Paramedics arrived at the scene promptly, but Maria was pronounced dead upon their arrival.
Police Chief Josh Bruegger detailed the timeline of events leading up to the gruesome discovery. Carmelo had left their apartment for work around 10 a.m. that morning, maintaining communication with Maria via phone. Shortly after he left, Maria sent her father a message, notifying him of someone knocking at their front door.
Concerned for his daughter’s safety, Carmelo reached out to family members who also resided within the apartment complex, requesting that they check on Maria. However, their search was in vain, and it wasn’t until Carmelo returned home that he uncovered the heartbreaking truth.
An autopsy conducted on Maria revealed that her cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation and blunt force head and neck trauma. The investigation further uncovered evidence of sexual assault. Despite the tragic circumstances, no signs of forced entry were found in the apartment.
As the investigation intensifies, law enforcement officials are urging the public’s assistance in identifying potential witnesses or persons of interest. “Whoever saw something just after 10 a.m. on Saturday at that particular apartment, we’re asking them to come forward with the information they might have,” Chief Bruegger implored.
While the grief-stricken community grapples with the loss of a young life, Pasadena Police are facing the challenging task of gathering crucial evidence. DNA samples have been taken from residents of the apartment complex, although authorities have noted that obtaining cooperation has been a hurdle.
Chief Bruegger underscored the urgency of the case, stating, “We’re doing our level best to get out and solve this crime… As a parent of an almost-10-year-old myself, it certainly is a cause for concern.”
The bereaved family had been living in the apartment complex for approximately three months. The girl’s mother resides in Guatemala, adding to the complexity of the situation. With no suspects currently identified, the community remains on edge, anxiously awaiting any breakthrough that might lead to justice for Maria Gonzalez.
Pasadena, a sprawling city located southeast of Houston, now stands united in mourning, as authorities work tirelessly to find answers and bring closure to this devastating tragedy.