Carrollton police arrested a 23-year-old man Tuesday suspected of abducting a 10-year-old relative while she slept and killing her, a crime that a police spokesman described as "beyond heinous."
The suspect, Jose Sifuentes, is a cousin by marriage of Jasmen Gonzalez, 10, of Oklahoma.
"We want our citizens to know that they are safe," Lt. Doug Mitchell, a Carrollton police spokesman, said Tuesday after Sifuentes' arrest.
"This was not some random act done by a stranger against a stranger," Mitchell said. "There's no predator roaming the streets snatching girls."
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Sifuentes, who authorities believe is in the United States illegally, was initially placed in the Carrollton Jail on immigration detention, but after a murder warrant was issued, he was taken to the Dallas County Jail.
Bail was set at $1 million. But Sifuentes cannot post bail because of the immigration hold.
Investigators believe that Jasmen was abducted Saturday night while sleeping alone in the master bedroom of an apartment in the 1300 block of Walnut Street in Carrollton.
She was among 12 relatives at the apartment Saturday.
"It's my understanding there were some relatives in from out of the country," Mitchell said. "Everybody had agreed to meet here and [Jasmen's] family came down from Oklahoma City."
She was last seen asleep in the bedroom about 11:15 p.m. Saturday. About 15 to 30 minutes later, a relative went into the room and saw she was missing, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Relatives called police, and officers later found her eyeglasses in a grassy area outside the apartment.
The affidavit says that detectives learned that Sifuentes left the apartment through the front door in the night and that his whereabouts was unknown, including during some of the time when Jasmen was alone in the bedroom.
The bedroom has an outside door.
Sifuentes' wife told investigators that as relatives searched for Jasmen, she saw the couple's 1999 Lincoln Navigator leave the apartment complex and return later while the search continued.
The wife also told detectives that her husband told her he was glad he had not parked in front of the apartment, near where Jasmen's glasses were discovered, because "the cops would think he was involved" in her disappearance. The wife told police, however, that the Navigator had been parked in front of the apartment when the couple first arrived, one car away from where the glasses were found, the affidavit says.
Jasmen's body was found about 3:30 p.m. Sunday in bushes at the side of a home in the 1100 block of Clint Street.
She was facedown. Her pants and underwear had been pulled down to her knees, and she had a stab wound in her left chest, the affidavit says.
While Sifuentes was being questioned at the Carrollton police station, two dogs trained to detect human tissue homed in on the Navigator. A search uncovered a knife in it with blood residue, according to the affidavit.
Sniffing Sifuentes' shoe, another dog established a scent trail between where Jasmen's body was found and the apartment on Walnut, the affidavit says.
"We believe he acted alone," Mitchell said.
Though Sifuentes was arrested on a murder warrant, Mitchell did not rule out the possibility that he could face an upgraded charge of capital murder.
"We still have a whole lot of work to do, and there's a lot of evidence that has yet to be analyzed," Mitchell said. "We charged him with murder because that what's the evidence that we presently have will support."
Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655