No suspect after 11-year-old girl sexually assaulted, murdered in Texas

Posted at 10:40 AM, August 17, 2023


PASADENA, Texas (Court TV) — Police are investigating after an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted, beaten and murdered in Texas over the weekend.

Maria Gonzalez’s father found her body underneath her bed wrapped in a trash bag and placed in a laundry basket, according to Pasadena police.

The girl had been home alone Saturday after Carmelo Gonzalez, 32, left for work that morning. Their last correspondence was a text message from Maria saying someone was knocking at the front door to their apartment.

Carmelo told his daughter not to answer the door, to which she agreed, but never replied again. He told KHOU-TV, “I called and called and called.”

Family members were sent to check on Maria when Carmelo didn’t receive any response, but they couldn’t locate the child. They told Carmelo that things seemed “out of place” at the home and he rushed home around 3 p.m., said Pasadena Police Chief Josh Brugger.

Police said Carmelo called 911 after finding his daughter. She was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation, and Maria had been sexually assaulted.

Chief Brugger said the father is not a suspect in the investigation. As of Wednesday, police do not have a suspect in the case.