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