2 Arrested In Death Of 12-Year-Old Girl Who Disappeared From 7-Eleven

Two men were arrested Thursday in connection with the death of a 12-year-old Texas girl whose body was found Monday in a creek, Houston officials announced.

Jocelyn Nungaray, 12, had sneaked out of her home on Sunday night and was last seen on surveillance footage entering a 7-Eleven just after midnight, officials said at a news conference. In the video, she is seen talking to two men.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, who were roommates, have been arrested under a preliminary charge of capital murder in the case, according to Houston authorities. The two had yet to be booked on any charges as of Thursday afternoon.

Alexis Nungaray told Houston TV station KPRC that she last saw her daughter before 10 p.m. Sunday but noticed her missing the following day, at about 6 a.m.

A photo of Joceyln Nungaray shared on the GoFundMe site.
A photo of Joceyln Nungaray shared on the GoFundMe site. GoFundMe

Jocelyn’s 13-year-old boyfriend was reportedly talking to her on the phone while she was at the store and could hear her speaking to two adults, according to KTRK-TV in Houston.

Lt. Stephen Hope of the Houston Police Department told reporters on Thursday that the victim’s boyfriend and his family had been “extremely” cooperative with authorities in the investigation.

Hope said the two men were seen on video speaking with Jocelyn outside the 7-Eleven for several minutes before walking into the store together. They walked toward a bridge moments later, Hope said, near where Jocelyn was found dead.

“I always told her to never leave the house, never leave unattended, always be safe ― there’s people around here that are crazy. I don’t think she ever thought it would face her,” Alexis Nungaray told KPRC.

The two men headed south, in the direction of the apartment shared by Martinez and Ramos, and allegedly left the girl by the bridge, Hope said.

Alexis Nungaray told KPRC that she tracked her daughter’s phone to the creek the following morning and saw officers canvassing the area. She was officially notified an hour later that her daughter was dead.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined that Jocelyn died of strangulation, KPRC reported.

Ramos and Martinez were taken into custody at their apartment on Thursday, and officers who searched their home allegedly found evidence connected to Jocelyn’s death.

Her mother told KPRC that she is still trying to come to terms with her daughter’s death.

“It’s like it’s not real. I keep hearing everything and everybody tell me everything, and I hear it and it’s not registering,” she said.