Authorities Charge Neighbor With Murder After Texas Girl, 6, Found Hanged in Garage
CORSICANA, Texas – A neighbor of a 6-year-old girl who was found hanged in her family's garage has been charged with sexual assault and capital murder, authorities said Friday.
Hanna Mack's body was found earlier this month by her mother. Authorities said the first-grader had been sexually assaulted and hanged.
Shaun Earl Arender, 19, was linked to the crime scene by DNA evidence, Navarro County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mike Cox said Friday. Arender lived less than a mile from the little girl's rural home, about 65 miles south of Dallas.
Arender was already in jail on unrelated burglary and drug possession charges. A DNA sample taken from the shirt Hanna was wearing was entered into a Texas Department of Public Safety DNA indexing program Wednesday, and it indicated Arender was a possible match, according to the arrest affidavit.
Arender was questioned Wednesday, and, according to the affidavit "would not give a statement, but put his head on the table and cried."
Two days earlier, he had cut himself with a piece of glass while in custody on the burglary charge and was taken to a hospital "because he was depressed," according to the affidavit.
His bond is set at $2.5 million. It wasn't immediately clear if Arender had a lawyer who could comment.
Family members have said Hanna's mother, Dana Mack, saw the youngest of her three daughters sleeping on the couch around 1 a.m. the morning of Sept. 10. She realized Hanna was missing just before sunrise, and found her body in a garage near the family house.
"I'm just absolutely shocked," said neighbor Pam Gray. "I'll never have that sense of trust here again."