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Louisiana police capture suspect in murder, assault of 11-year-old Texas girl

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Louisiana police capture suspect in murder, assault of 11-year-old Texas girl

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Louisiana police have tracked down a Texas man accused of assaulting and murdering his 11-year-old neighbor, Maria Gonzalez.

Authorities in Shreveport, Louisiana, took Juan Carlos Garcia Rodriguez, 18, into custody Saturday after Harris County, Texas, officials charged him with capital murder in connection with the girl’s August 12 death.

Maria was home alone on August 12 when she texted her father, Carmelo Gonzalez, that morning saying that someone was knocking on their apartment 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 FOX 26 Houston.

TEXAS GIRL, 11, FOUND MURDERED UNDER BED AFTER KNOCK ON DOOR WHILE SHE WAS HOME ALONE

Maria Gonzalez

A medical examiner determined that Maria Gonzalez died of strangulation by asphyxiation and had also been sexually assaulted by the unknown assailant, according to the Pasadena Police Department. (FOX 26 Houston)

Pasadena Police said that was the last communication that Gonzalez received from his daughter. When he arrived home later on, he found his daughter deceased and hidden underneath a bed in the apartment.

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Investigators arrived at the scene at the Main Village apartment complex on Main Street around 3 p.m. that Saturday and located Maria’s body stuffed into a plastic bag, followed by a laundry bag and placed into a laundry basket, which was hidden beneath a bed.

Juan Carlos Garcia Rodriguez

Pasadena authorities said in a press release that Juan Carlos Garcia Rodriguez, 18, “is a person of interest and was residing in the same apartment complex where the victim was found but has since left.” (Pasadena Police Department)

“Unfortunately, they left her under the bed in a plastic bag. They left my poor daughter,” Gonzalez told FOX 26.

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While investigating the crime scene, detectives found a single key that could not be used to open any of the doors in the apartment where Maria was found. The key did, however, open another door in the apartment complex. Investigators then interviewed Garcia Rodriguez.

Apartment complex at 1004 Main Street in Pasadena, Texas

Authorities told FOX 26 that many undocumented immigrants live in the city just east of Houston, so some residents are hesitant to speak with police, but their main priority is to find the suspect in Maria’s murder. (Google Maps)

The suspect was last seen in the apartment complex Monday around 4 p.m. and had not been seen since until police tracked him down in Louisiana on Saturday.

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A Pasadena Police Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital it did not have any other information to provide as of Saturday afternoon.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to contact Det. M. Quintanilla at 713-475-7803 or Det. S. Mata at 713-475-7878.

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