An 11-year-old girl was found dead under a bed in her home in Pasadena, Texas, according to local law enforcement. The Pasadena Police Department reported that officers were called to an apartment complex on Saturday after receiving a distress call from the girl’s father, who found his daughter unresponsive. Upon arrival, paramedics pronounced the girl, later identified as Maria Gonzalez, dead at the scene.
The police investigation revealed that Maria’s father, Carmelo Gonzalez, discovered her body under a bed upon returning home from work. Earlier in the day, he had been in contact with Maria via phone. Shortly after he left for work, Maria sent him a message saying someone was knocking at the front door.
Police Chief Josh Bruegger stated in a Tuesday press conference that Carmelo Gonzalez had called other family members living in the same apartment complex to check on Maria after receiving her message. However, the family members were unable to locate her after a brief search.
The medical examiner determined Maria’s cause of death to be asphyxiation due to strangulation, coupled with blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Further investigation revealed that Maria had also been sexually assaulted.
The police reported no signs of forced entry into the home and currently have no suspects. Bruegger confirmed that the father’s alibi has been verified, and he is not considered a suspect in the ongoing investigation. The father and daughter had been living in the apartment for three months while the mother resides in Guatemala.
Bruegger also mentioned that DNA samples have been collected from some individuals in the complex, but cooperation has been challenging. He urged anyone with information about the incident, particularly those who might have seen something unusual at the apartment complex around 10 a.m. on Saturday, to come forward.
The police are urging anyone with information about the case to contact Detective M. Quintanilla at 713-475-7803 or Detective S. Mata at 713-475-7878.