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11-year-old girl who was left home alone killed in 'brutal' attack

Police in Pasadena, Texas, said the girl was sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
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Posted at 12:22 PM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-18 12:44:38-04

Authorities in Texas are trying to figure out who killed an 11-year-old girl who was left home alone while her father was at work. 

According to the Pasadena Police Department, the girl, identified as Maria Gonzalez, texted her father on Saturday morning, shortly after he left for work, to tell him there was a stranger knocking on their apartment door. 

Police said that was the last communication the father had with his daughter. The father reportedly asked family members who lived at the apartment complex to check on Maria, but they didn't find her. 

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Maria Gonzalez, 11, was found dead on Saturday, hours after her father had left her home alone while he went to work.

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When the father returned home from work Saturday afternoon, police said he located Maria's body under a bed. 

“Based on the evidence, she was placed under the bed," said Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger during a press conference. 

Bruegger called the attack "brutal," revealing that the girl was sexually assaulted and strangled to death. 

An autopsy was conducted on the girl's body, and Bruegger said investigators are analyzing DNA evidence. In the meantime, he asked anyone who may have seen something out of the ordinary to come forward. 

"Whoever saw something around 10 a.m., or after 10 a.m. on Saturday, at that particular apartment, we’re asking them to come forward with any information that they might have," Bruegger said. 

Maria and her father had only lived at the apartment complex for three months, police said. They had reportedly moved from Austin. Bruegger said the girl's mother lives in Guatemala. 

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