Authorities are searching for a teenager who lived in the same apartment building as an 11-year-old Texas girl after her body was found under her bed last week, police said announced on Friday.
Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez, 18, has been identified as involved in the murder of girl Maria Gonzalez. Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said at a news conference that investigators found a key in Gonzalez’s apartment and learned it opened Garcia-Rodriguez’s unit.
“This key has since been processed by our investigators at the scene and could not open any doors in the victim’s home,” Pasadena Police said in one opinion.
Gonzalez was found dead on Saturday. Her father, Carmelo Gonzalez, called the police and reported that he had discovered her body wrapped in a garbage bag and stuffed in a laundry basket.
Carmelo Gonzalez told officers that shortly after he left for work, his daughter texted him and said there was a stranger knocking on the front door. Concerned that the girl would soon become unresponsive, the father asked family members to check on her at the home, but they could not couldn’t find them.
“I told her not to open the door because I’m coming to work and she replied I’m lying in my bed,” Carmelo Gonzalez said Houston’s Fox 26.
When the father returned, he found the 11-year-old dead, but there were no signs of forced entry at the home.
The coroner determined that the girl had been strangled and sexually abused before her death.
Bruegger said police questioned neighbors of the apartment building on Saturday. Among them was Garcia-Rodriguez, from whom police also took a DNA sample.
Authorities said Garcia-Rodriguez lived in the apartment building for three to four weeks but moved out on Monday. Be Two roommates who didn’t know the 18-year-old well told officers Garcia-Rodriguez said he was leaving to find work elsewhere, but he didn’t turn in his key before moving out.
Garcia-Rodriguez is originally from Guatemala and was last seen at the apartment complex on Monday. His current whereabouts are unknown.
In this case there was no arrest.