CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The medical examiner has identified the girl’s body police found behind a home Sunday afternoon as 10-year-old Jasmen Gonzalez, who disappeared from a Carrollton apartment Saturday night.
Gonzalez, an Oklahoma City resident, was last seen at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, said Carrollton Police spokesman Doug Mitchell.
She was in town with her family visiting relatives at their apartment complex in the 1300 block of Walnut Street. The apartment is less than a third of a mile from where her body was found.
Carrollton Police initially said that Gonzalez wandered away from the residence in her sleep. Hours later, they said an investigation pointed toward her being abducted from the apartment. There was no forced entry in the apartment.
Authorities found the body at 3:35 p.m. behind a home as they went door-to-door looking for the girl.
Investigators began quickly: Neighbor Mary Dunn said the knock on her door came at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, just hours after Gonzalez was reported missing.
“When I asked who it was, and they said, ‘police,’ my heart just dropped,” she said.
Mitchell said there was no obvious trauma to the girl’s body and police have identified a male person of interest in the suspected abduction.
No one is currently in custody, although they are speaking with this individual, Mitchell said.
A cause of death has not been released pending an autopsy, which will be conducted Monday.
Mitchell called the case an “anomaly” and said the circumstances surrounding Gonzalez’s disappearance are “questionable.” Authorities questioned all of the 82 registered sex offenders in Carrollton and believe none of them are involved, Mitchell added.
Carrollton police responded to an emergency call reporting the missing girl at 11:58 p.m., Mitchell said. Authorities from the Carrollton Police and Fire Departments as well as eight surrounding agencies – including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals – organized searches that lasted into the afternoon.
The search for Gonzalez was called off after authorities found the body. Police never issued an Amber Alert because the case did not meet the requirements to do so, Mitchell said during a press conference.
“Police are concerned that Jasmen may have become lost or injured,” department spokesman Jon Stovall said in a release Sunday morning. “Additionally, Jasmen is not dressed for the weather conditions.”
On Sunday afternoon, neighbors gathered just beyond the perimeter of police cars and crime tape. While police say the act does not appear to be random, the community is shaken.
“We’ve never locked our doors because we didn’t have to,” said neighbor Anna Justiniani. “This is crazy.”
Justiniani has lived in the Carrollton Heights community for 10 years. She describes the neighborhood as “perfect,” and said it has never experienced a tragedy like this one.
“I’ve never have had the feeling of insecurity, and now I feel very not safe,” she said. “We’re out at night all the time – my children and I always take walks. We’ve got to feel safe where we’re at and this is scary.”
The investigation is ongoing.