The main suspect in the murder of an 11-year-old girl found strangled to death under her bed in Texas is a Guatemalan immigrant who entered the US in January, police said on Friday - revealing that a key left behind in the little girl's home was a vital piece of evidence.
Maria Gonzalez's body found by her father at their home in Pasadena, Texas, on Saturday, August 12, when he returned home from work. She had also been sexually assaulted, police said.
Pasadena Police Department on Friday named Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez, 18, as a 'person of interest' and the main suspect in the case.
He 'was residing at the same apartment complex where the victim was found but has since left', police said. He was there for several weeks, and last seen at the complex two days after her killing. Garcia-Rodriguez is now being hunted by cops.
Garcia-Rodriguez is believed to have entered the US in January. He crossed the border in El Paso, Texas. After he 'self-surrendered', it is believed the teenager, who was 17 when he crossed, was then let free.