Police officials released a statement, which stated that the father, later identified as Carmelo, reportedly found his minor daughter Maria strangled to death when he returned home from work. Police officials also said that the 11-year-old girl was also se-ually assaulted. When he left for work that day, he talked with his daughter. Maria eventually sent her father two terrifying voice messages.
“Someone was knocking on the door,” she said. “I don’t know, I can’t see, I’m in my room. They were knocking.” Her dad reportedly replied that she shouldn’t open the door for anyone. She agreed to not open it, and stay in her room. However, she stopped replying his messages. At that point, the father remembers, “I called and called and called.” The father then contacted the victim’s aunt and uncle to check on her, but they did not find her in the home.
Police officials also said that the father communicated with family members because he couldn’t get in contact with Maria, so they could investigate if everything was okay at the apartment. The father found his daughter’s body wrapped in a trash bag and placed inside a laundry basket underneath her bed. Once the father found his daughter’s body, he called 911. Paramedics arrived, where they pronounced her dead. Later, investigations found that Maria died from asphyxiation due to strangulation and blunt force head and neck trauma. Authorities also found that she was se-ually assaulted. However, as per police, they found no forced entry into the home.
The father is not currently a suspect in this case. Police have compiled DNA samples from people living nearby, and are in the process of checking onsite cameras. One of their neighbors told NYP, “This little girl, she was such an angel and hopefully you get caught whoever did this to her, hopefully you do.” Meanwhile, her family hopes to transport Maria’s body back to her home country where her mother and sister live. As per reports, Maria always wished to go back to Guatemala with them.