An illegal alien is facing a capital murder charge in the death of an 11-year-old girl after a nationwide manhunt ended in his arrest.
Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez, 18, was taken into custody on Saturday, according to KRIV-TV in Houston.
Police say that Garcia-Rodriguez made a full confession in connection to the murder and sexual assault of Maria Gonzalez, according to KTRK-TV in Houston.
He was charged with capital murder, KRIV reported.
Gonzalez’s body was discovered on Aug. 12 in a trash bag underneath her own bed in her family’s Pasadena, Texas apartment.
Garcia-Rodriguez, who lived in a nearby apartment, left town two days after the girl was found dead, according to a former roommate interviewed by KTRK.
Juan Carlos Garcia-Rodriguez has been captured and charges have been filed against him for the murder of Maria Gonzalez. pic.twitter.com/6MTWUN9fUg
— Pasadena Police Department (@PasadenaPDTX) August 19, 2023
The suspect was apprehended in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Authorities feared that Garcia-Rodriguez, a Guatemalan national, had fled the country through the southern border before his arrest, NewsNation reported Friday.
He’s awaiting extradition to Harris County, Texas, according to the authorities.
Garcia-Rodriguez just entered the country in January, according to KTRK.
The alien was placed with sponsors in Louisiana after surrendering to immigration authorities in El Paso, Texas.
Levels of illegal immigration at the porous southern border have smashed all-time records during President Joe Biden’s administration, according to The Hill.
Maria Gonzalez was sexually assaulted and strangled Saturday at her Pasadena home. She was home alone when she messaged her dad and told him someone was knocking at the door.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) August 15, 2023
Carmelo Gonzalez, Maria’s father, released a statement thanking the authorities for their work after their arrest.
“We want to say thank you to the Pasadena Police Department and to Louisiana police and any officials that participated in bringing this cold-blooded murderer into custody,” the statement said.
“I ask for those who are in charge to give us justice. May he be burdened with the full weight of the law, for what he has done to my daughter.”
The Gonzalez family has created a GoFundMe fundraiser to aid in funeral expenses.
As of Sunday morning, it had raised $55,125.