Police in Louisiana have apprehended Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez, an 18-year-old Guatemalan national, who is the prime suspect in the sexual assault and strangling of 11-year-old Maria Gonzalez in Pasadena, Texas. Garcia-Rodriguez was arrested by Shreveport police and is currently awaiting extradition back to Texas to face capital murder charges.
Authorities in Pasadena identified Garcia-Rodriguez as a person of interest after discovering a key belonging to him inside Maria’s home. Further investigation led to the acquisition of corroborating evidence linking Garcia-Rodriguez to the crime, resulting in the issuance of an arrest warrant.
Maria’s father, Carmelo Gonzalez, expressed gratitude to the Pasadena Police Department and Louisiana police for their efforts in apprehending the suspect. He called for justice to be served and for Garcia-Rodriguez to face the full weight of the law.
The details surrounding Maria’s death are particularly gruesome. Her body was found wrapped in a trash bag and concealed inside a laundry basket under her bed. On the day of the incident, Maria had contacted her father to inform him of someone knocking at the door. Mr. Gonzalez advised her not to answer as she was home alone. Concerned, he asked family members to check on Maria, but they were unable to locate her. Upon returning from work, Mr. Gonzalez discovered his daughter’s lifeless body. A subsequent medical examination revealed that Maria had been strangled and sexually assaulted.
According to Pasadena police, Garcia-Rodriguez was previously apprehended by U.S. border agents in January while attempting to cross into the country. He was subsequently released to sponsors in Baton Rouge, who then sent him to Pasadena for employment. The suspect resided in the same apartment complex as Maria.