Father Returns Home to Find 11-Year-Old Daughter Murdered Hours After Stranger Knocks

A horrifying incident unfolded in Pasadena, Texas, when a father returned home to discover his 11-year-old daughter had been sexually assaulted and murdered, her body hidden beneath his bed. The father, Carmelo Gonzalez, 32, had received a text from his daughter Maria around 10 a.m. on Saturday, informing him that an unknown individual was knocking at their door. Gonzalez, who was just arriving at work, advised his daughter not to open the door.

Maria, described by her father as a “good, quiet girl” who had recently celebrated her 11th birthday, assured her father that she was in her bed. Concerned by the lack of communication from his daughter, Gonzalez requested family members living in the same building to check on her. According to Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger, Maria’s aunt and uncle found the door open but were unable to locate her after a brief search.

The grim discovery was made by Gonzalez himself when he returned home around 3 p.m., approximately five hours after his daughter’s unsettling text message. Maria’s lifeless body was found inside a laundry basket under his bed, concealed in a plastic bag. The young girl had been sexually assaulted and strangled, with additional evidence of blunt force trauma to the head. The Pasadena medical examiner confirmed these findings.

As of now, investigators have no suspects for this heinous crime. Police Chief Bruegger revealed that some individuals have voluntarily provided DNA samples to be cleared of suspicion. He also confirmed that Gonzalez’s alibi has been verified, ruling him out as a suspect.

Gonzalez and his daughter lived alone in the apartment, with Maria’s mother believed to be in Guatemala. The police chief refrained from commenting on the family’s legal status, stating that it was not a concern at this point.

The apartment showed no signs of forced entry, and the door was found closed but unlocked when Maria’s aunt and uncle first arrived at the scene. Although the apartment complex is equipped with security cameras, they may not have been operational due to recent storms. Police Chief Bruegger suggested that the perpetrator likely knew Maria was home alone, given the timing of the incident shortly after Gonzalez left for work.