Updated: October 31, 2011 9:35 PM
CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death of a 10-year-old Oklahoma City girl a homicide.
Jasmen Gonzalez had been visiting relatives at a Carrollton apartment in the 1300 block of Walnut Street when she disappeared Saturday night. Her body was found Sunday afternoon, less than a third of a mile away from the apartment complex.
On Monday, officials confirmed that Jasmen died from a stab wound to the chest. The medical examiner did not have information as to whether or not she had been sexually assaulted.
Investigators learned there had been a family gathering on Saturday evening, and that Jasmen had gone missing just before midnight.
Police in Carrollton have confirmed that 23-year old Jose Sifuentes is a “person of interest” in the case. “The person of interest is a family friend,” explained Carrollton Police Department spokesperson Lieutenant Doug Mitchell.
Authorities said that Sifuentes and several other people from the party were questioned.
“I don’t know if he [Sifuentes] had any actual interaction with her [Jasmen]. I know that he was at the family gathering and they were all there,” said Lt. Mitchell. “We did 12 interviews of people that were at this gathering and he just… I can’t give you all the details.”
A search warrant says that Gonzalez was found in a manner consistent with sexual assault — though the Medical Examiner has not confirmed it.
Police have also executed search warrants for two Carrollton homes and three vehicles believed to have ties in the abduction.
According to the warrant, while police were questioning Sifuentes, a canine unit detected an odor of decaying human tissue around his SUV. Inside, the warrant says, they found a knife, rubber gloves and human blood.
Police do not believe that this was a random act, but say that Sifuentes is still only a “person of interest” in Gonzalez’ death. “We’re not sure that Jose is the guy that did it yet. To be fair to everybody involved, we don’t need to be pointing a finger at any one person,” Lt. Doug Mitchell with the Carrollton Police Department told reporters.
As a part of the investigation, police questioned all of the 82 registered sex offenders in Carrollton, and believe none of them are involved.
Police have continued to question Sifuentes. While he has not been charged or arrested, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have kept him detained.