© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
Migrant arrested for suspected rape and murder of 11-year-old girl, wrapped body in trash bag under her bed after strangulation
YouTube ABC 7 Chicago Video Screenshot

Migrant arrested for suspected rape and murder of 11-year-old girl, wrapped body in trash bag under her bed after strangulation

A migrant man accused of the heinous rape and murder of an 11-year-old Texas girl was captured in Louisiana one week after the grisly killing. The suspect allegedly strangled the girl to death, dumped her in a trash bag, and hid the body under her bed at her house in Pasadena, Texas.

Authorities arrested Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez on Saturday in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Pasadena Police Department said the 18-year-old suspect was charged with capital murder for the strangulation death of 11-year-old Maria Gonzalez. He is awaiting extradition back to Texas.

Citing sources, KTRK reported that Garcia-Rodriguez "made a full confession."

Garcia-Rodriguez – a Guatemalan national – reportedly crossed the U.S. southern border illegally in January. He allegedly surrendered to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, Texas. However, he was released to immigration sponsors in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana. Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said attempts to contact the sponsors had been unsuccessful.

Garcia-Rodriguez allegedly lived in the same apartment complex as Gonzalez and her family in Pasadena.

Before her death on Aug. 12, Maria reportedly informed her father via text that someone was knocking on the door of their apartment around 10 a.m. – approximately 15 minutes after he left for work. Carmelo Gonzalez said he instructed his daughter not to open the door, and she agreed. The father said he never heard from his daughter again.

After the daughter stopped responding to his messages, the father asked his brother and sister-in-law – who live in the same apartment complex – to check on Maria. They reportedly found the front door unlocked and things were out of place in the apartment, but they did not find Maria.

The father returned to the home around 3 p.m. that day after work.

KTRK reported, "Police said Carmelo found her body wrapped in a trash bag inside a clothes hamper underneath her own bed. She had been strangled, beaten, and sexually assaulted."

Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said the suspect left his apartment key at the crime scene.

"It took investigators a few days to find out the key didn't belong to Maria's home and in fact, opened another apartment – the one Garcia-Rodriguez was staying in, according to KHOU. However, Garcia-Rodriguez had allegedly already bolted out of town before the key discovery.

Two days after the gruesome child murder, Garcia-Rodriguez allegedly told his roommate he was leaving town for a job.

According to police, the roommate asked for the apartment key, but Garcia-Rodriguez said he was going to hold on to it.

He allegedly told his roommate, "It's not going to be long. I'm coming back. It's fine."

After the suspect was captured in Louisiana, the Gonzalez family issued a statement that read:

We want to say thank you to the Pasadena Police Department and to Louisiana police and any officials that participated in bringing this cold-blooded murderer into custody. This arrest has brought the family and community some peace. We are extremely thankful that he cannot cause this type of pain to anybody again. I ask for those who are in charge to give us justice. May he be burdened with the full weight of the law, for what he has done to my daughter.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

18-year-old suspect arrested after confessing to Texas 11-year-old's strangulation, sources saywww.youtube.com

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?