Texas dad finds daughter strangled to death after text about stranger at front door
Maria’s father had left for work at 9:45 a.m. that day. However, soon after he received a text message from his daughter saying that an unknown person was at their front door
August 17, 2023 8:14am
Updated: August 17, 2023 8:14am
A Texas dad found his 11-year-old daughter’s lifeless body under a bed after she had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death while he was at work, authorities said on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the body of Maria Gonzalez was discovered by her father, Carmelo Gonzalez, in their apartment after he came home from work at around 3 p.m., Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said during a press conference on Monday.
Maria’s father had left for work at 9:45 a.m. that day. However, soon after he received a text message from his daughter saying that an unknown person was at their front door.
“I told her don’t open the door because I am arriving at work, and she responded I am in my bed,” Gonzalez told KRIV.
The father called Maria’s aunt and uncle, who live in the same apartment complex, to check up on her, but was unable to find the girl after a brief search of the apartment, Bruegger said.
However, when Gonzalez returned home, he found her under the bed in a plastic bag.
Gonzalez called 911 immediately, but the girl was pronounced dead at the scene after police and paramedics arrived.
An investigation by the medical examiner found that Maria had been strangled and sexually assaulted before suffering blunt-force trauma to her head and neck.
It was a “violent, violent crime,” said Bruegger.
The case is being investigated as a criminal homicide. No arrests have been made yet in connection to the killing. Police are looking for a suspect.
DNA samples were taken from people living in the same apartment complex. However, getting cooperation had been a challenge, said Bruegger.
“We’re doing our level best to get out and solve this crime," Brugger told reporters. "As a parent of an almost-10-year-old myself, it certainly is a cause for concern.”
Maria and her father were both migrants from Guatemala who had moved into the apartment only three months prior.