Dad finds daughter, 11, dead under the bed hours after she warned him about a stranger at the door
Five hours after she called his attention to a stranger at their door, a Texas father returned home to find his 11-year-old daughter had been raped and left dead under his bed, according to police and the distraught father.
Carmelo Gonzalez, 32, told Fox 26 that he had just gotten at work when his daughter Maria texted him at 10 a.m. on Saturday to let him know that someone was at his Pasadena home’s door.
She replied, “I am in my bed,” when I asked her not to open the door as I was leaving for work. Gonzalez described the 11-year-old “good, quiet girl” as such.
The father then requested neighbors who live nearby “to go check on [her] because he hadn’t heard from her,” Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Despite finding the door open, the aunt and uncle “were unable to locate her” following “a cursory check,” the police chief added.
Five hours after his daughter gave him the ominous warning, at around 3 p.m., Gonzalez arrived home to discover his daughter’s lifeless body in a laundry basket under his bed.
“They left her in a plastic bag under the bed. They abandoned my helpless daughter,” Gonzalez said to the local media.
According to the police chief, the 11-year-old was sexually molested before being strangled. She reportedly sustained blunt force wounds to the head.
The Pasadena medical examiner confirmed that Maria had been raped and strangled, Fox 26 said.
Investigators do not have any suspects for the “violent, violent crime,” said the police chief, revealing that some people had volunteered DNA to be cleared.
“At this point, the father’s alibi checks out, so he is — at this point, at least — not a suspect,” Bruegger said.
Dad and daughter lived alone in the apartment, with the dead girl’s mom believed to be in Guatemala, the chief said.
“I do not know their legal status,” the police chief said of the family, stressing that “it’s the least of our concerns at this point.”
The home showed no signs of forced entry, and the door was closed but unlocked when Maria’s aunt and uncle first checked out the scene.
The apartment area has security cameras but they may not have been recording due to recent storms, the chief suggested.
The killer likely knew that the little girl was home alone at the time, Bruegger suggested.
“It seems awfully suspicious that Dad leaves for work and within 30 minutes you’ve got somebody knocking at the door,” the police chief noted.