On Sunday the body of a 5-year-old girl was found in an apartment complex located in Dallas, Texas. Police went on a three-hour search of the slain girl at a Lake Highlands apartment at Sontera Palms Apartments complex Sunday. Dallas News reports that the girl is identified asKatherine Alejandra Gonzalez.
After questioning several people, including children around the complex, authorities have arrested 17-year-old Angel Lizandro Sanches-Zenteno. Authorities feel they have enough evidence to believe the boy killed Gonzalez before dumping her in a vacant apartment next to his in the same building. Police have revealed that Sanches-Zenteno is the girl’s cousin.
Dallas Police Maj. Rob Sherwin says the medical examiner ruled Gonzalez’s death as strangulation.
Sherwin explains that the 5-year-old’s uncle was babysitting her while her parents worked and she was last seen riding a tricycle and playing around 11:30 am Sunday at the complex. A witness recalls spotting Katherine with her cousin around noon.
Authorities questioned the 17-year-old suspect and several other family members at police headquarters Sunday. He was arrested after being identified as the last person seen with the girl.
“We have probable cause to believe strongly that he is responsible for the death of this little girl,” Sherwin said.
Sanches-Zenteno is held at Dallas County Jail and being charged with capital murder. His bail hasn’t yet been set. It’s believed that he was in the country illegally. Police haven’t revealed a motive in the girl’s murder.
Tiffiany Sauls, a resident at the apartment complex, shares that police went door-to-door with a photo of Gonzalez asking if anyone had seen her. She tells the news source that neighbors were waiting to “see if they caught the person or didn’t catch the person because we are still willing to do anything we can.”
CBS DFW interviewed neighbors about the crime. Neighbor Janicqua Washington helped in the search to find the girl and was devastated to learn her body was found in a vacant apartment above her own apartment.
“For something like that to happen right here, under us like that, is like, ‘Wow,'” she expressed. “We should not have missed that. We should have seen something. Someone should have seen something.”
Washington adds, “You have to keep your eye on your child. You just have to.”
Neighbors were afraid to have their children go outside and play prior to police arresting the 17-year-old suspect.
[Photo Credit: Todd Unger / WFAA]