Authorities in southeast Texas are conducting a thorough investigation following the tragic discovery of an 11-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted and strangled in her Pasadena home over the weekend. The Pasadena Police Department is actively seeking answers in this heinous crime as the community mourns the loss of a young life.
Pasadena Police Chief Josh Brugger revealed that officers were called to the residence on Saturday afternoon after receiving a report of a girl in distress. Upon arrival, they found the lifeless body of the victim concealed under her bed. The girl, identified as Maria Gonzalez Xitumul, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. The Harris County Medical Examiner determined that Maria’s cause of death was asphyxia from strangulation, as well as blunt force head and neck trauma. Tragically, she had also been sexually assaulted. The case is being treated as a criminal homicide, and authorities are actively searching for the perpetrator.
Chief Brugger expressed the department’s commitment to solving this heinous crime, acknowledging the deep concern it has stirred within the community. The apartment complex where the girl’s horrifying death took place is located approximately 13 miles southeast of downtown Houston. Described as a relatively small and close-knit community, the complex is typically peaceful. Maria and her 32-year-old father, Carmelo Gonzalez, lived alone in the apartment. On the day of the incident, her father left for work at around 9:45 a.m. Shortly after 10 a.m., Maria messaged her father about an unknown person knocking at the front door. That was the last known communication between them.
Concerned for his daughter’s safety, Maria’s father asked family members who also resided in the apartment complex to check on her. However, their search had no results. It wasn’t until her father returned home from work at approximately 3 p.m. that he made the devastating discovery of Maria’s lifeless body hidden beneath her bed. Chief Brugger emphasized that Maria’s father is not considered a suspect in the capital murder case.
Maria had not yet enrolled in school, according to Chief Brugger. The family, originally from Guatemala, had recently relocated to Pasadena from Austin. Prior to that, they had lived in Florida. The police chief described the crime as extremely violent and brutal. The investigation remains ongoing, and authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward and assist in bringing justice for Maria.