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Family Friend Charged in Murder of Abducted Girl Found Dead in Texas

jasmen_gonzalez.jpg

Jasmen Gonzelez, 10, disappeared from a relative's house in Texas on Oct. 29, 2011. (Carrollton Police Department)

CARROLLTON, Texas -- Police in Texas charged a man Tuesday with the murder of 10-year-old Jasmen Gonzalez, whose body was found over the weekend. 

Jose Consepcion Sifuentes, 23, was moved from jail in Carrollton, Texas, where he was being kept on an immigration hold, to Lew Sterrett Justice Center in downtown Dallas Tuesday morning.

He was questioned Monday as a person of interest in the death of Jasmen, whose family lives in Oklahoma City and was in Carrollton for a family reunion.

Sifuentes, described as a friend of Jasmen's relatives, was charged with the girl's murder after incriminating evidence was found in his vehicle and apartment.

According to a search warrant affidavit, police retrieved a knife with a black handle, yellow rubber gloves, hair, half of a golden charm, and samples of suspected human blood.

Tests were still being conducted Tuesday on the items recovered.

Jasmen's body was found shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time Sunday behind a house about four blocks from the apartment building where she and her family were staying.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's office said that the girl died after being stabbed in the chest.

Police believe she was sexually assaulted. She was found with her pants and underwear pulled down and with no shirt on, according to a police affidavit.

Investigators originally thought she might have wandered out of the home in her sleep and gotten lost or injured, but they said Sunday that she was abducted.

Monday night, friends and neighbors in the Carrollton area held a candlelight vigil in memory of the girl.

Others who knew Sifuentes were shocked and stunned that he may be linked to the crime.

"I just want to say that he is a nice person," said one woman who did not want to be identified. "I see him a couple of times and I never think he is a bad person."

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