Gustavo Zavala-Garcia: Uncle Arrested After Death Of Kayla Gomez-Orozco — Texans Hold Vigil For 10-Year-Old As Investigation Continues, Amber Alert Canceled

On Sunday, authorities arrested the uncle of 10-year-old Texas girl Kayla Gomez-Orozco following an investigation into her disappearance and death. The girl was reported missing on Tuesday, and her remains were found on Saturday night in a well located near her uncle’s residence following a massive nationwide search and the issuing of an Amber Alert.

A press conference was held on Sunday, which revealed that a male relative is being held in connection to the death of the 10-year-old. The well that the body of Kayla Gomez-Orozco was found in is behind a home in Bullard, Texas, and very close to a property in Tyler where the man lives and only about two miles from the church she was last seen at. Although the police did not officially identify the relative, they did state that he was a Hispanic male born in 1992, and further investigation showed that Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, Kayla’s uncle, had been arrested.

The 24-year-old was booked into the Smith County Jail Sunday on a Federal Immigration Customs hold, and according to the New York Daily News, records indicated that he is being held without the possibility of bond. It has been indicated that Gustavo Zavala-Garcia had actually volunteered to be interviewed and willingly went to the station.

The police have not actually charged him in relation to Kayla’s death but intend to hold him until they have concluded their investigation, which is still ongoing. An autopsy has been scheduled at Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas. During Sunday’s press conference, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said that his office has every intention of ensuring that justice for Kayla and her family is “swift and thorough.”

“There will be no stone unturned as we enter the next phase of the investigation.”

In 2014, Kayla’s uncle was arrested on assault charges, and sources within law enforcement have also revealed that during the same year, Zavala-Garcia had been deported but returned to Texas only a short time afterward. Formal charges are expected to be brought against the man in the upcoming days.

Kayla was first reported missing on November 1, vanishing from Bullard First Assembly Church in Bullard, Texas, where she had been attending an evening prayer service with her mother. Her family told the media that the little girl had gotten bored while her mother was talking to her fellow church members and went to wait in the lobby and play with a baby cousin. However, about an hour later, when her mother went to check on her, she was gone.

The 10-year-old was reported missing at approximately 8 p.m., and an Amber Alert was issued the very next day. The FBI arrived at the scene within the span of two hours, joining local law enforcement in the search for Kayla Gomez-Orozco. The FBI organized a search, which involved more than 800 volunteers going through 1,500 acres.


By Friday, November 4, a substantial reward had been offered by Crime Stoppers for any information in the Kayla Gomez-Orozco Amber Alert case. The $60,000 reward had been for her discovery, and $40,000 of the sum was from a generous private donor who had reportedly become invested in the safe return of Kayla-Gomez Orozco brought home safe. By Saturday, hundreds of volunteers swarmed the area in an attempt to locate the girl and bring the search to a happy close. Unfortunately, it was not to be, and the police soon received a lead that led them to obtain a search warrant for the property where her remains were eventually found.

According to Fox News Latino, two vigils have been held in honor of Kayla Gomez-Orozco after news that her body had been found became known. On Sunday, the murdered 10-year-old was honored by people who wore pink and carried pink ribbons. One of the vigils was held at Jack Elementary in Tyler, where Kayla attended fourth-grade classes, while the other was at Brook Hill School in Bullard.

The authorities advised that more information would be released about the murder case for Kayla Gomez-Orozco at a later time.

[Featured Image by Smith County Court/Texas Amber Alert]