12-Year-Old Allegedly Killed By Illegal Migrants Was Sexually Assaulted, Forensic Data Confirms

Jocelyn Nungaray, the 12-year-old allegedly murdered by two illegal migrants, was sexually assaulted before her body was dumped in a north Houston creek in June, new forensic data confirmed to ABC13 shows.

DNA test results on Monday from the Houston Forensic Science Center determined that Nungaray was sexually assaulted before being strangled to death, confirming what prosecutors have suspected since the investigation into her murder began, according to ABC13. Nungaray’s body was found in a creek last month, and local law enforcement has since arrested Venezuelan nationals Franklin Joe Pena Ramos, 26, and Johan Jose Martinez Rangel, 22, for her murder.

Federal immigration authorities confirmed that both Pena and Martinez entered the U.S. illegally before being arrested for murder. Both men were released into the U.S. with notices to appear before an immigration judge, despite ICE having enough bed space at the time to keep them in physical detention.

“Martinez and Pena both illegally entered the U.S. without inspection, parole or admission by a U.S. immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location,” an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson stated to the Daily Caller News Foundation last month.

“On March 14, Martinez was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol near El Paso, Texas,” the statement continued. “Pena was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol on May 28 near El Paso.”

Investigators suspect Nungaray snuck out of her home late at night on June 16 for reasons that remain unclear, according to prosecutors. The two men then allegedly lured Nungaray underneath a bridge, where they tied her up, pulled her pants down and strangled her to death.

A passerby found her body floating in a north Houston creek in the early morning hours of June 17, according to ABC13.

The men are both being held on a $10 million bond. They are currently subject to immigration detainer holds, meaning that they would remain in law enforcement custody even if they made bail, ICE confirmed to the DCNF.

Both men are not eligible for the death penalty under Texas law, according to ABC13. However, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg previously stated that, if sexual assault was determined, her office would make the death penalty a possibility and would be able to request no bond.

“We will have no comment on the evidence in this case until the appropriate time,” read a statement from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office when asked by the DCNF about the test results and whether their office would now pursue the death penalty.

The Houston Forensic Science Center referred all media inquiries to the local police.

Republished with permission from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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