July 4, 2013

Police still receiving tips in slaying of Saginaw girl, 6

The medical examiner is awaiting lab results before ruling on the cause of death.

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The Fourth of July holiday did not slow tipsters trying to help Saginaw police solve the slaying of a 6-year-old girl whose body was found Monday beneath a tarp on a city street.

Information given to police has focused on a red truck that authorities described as a “vehicle of interest,” but investigators have also received tips on other information related to the killing of Alanna Gallagher.

“We’re still getting a steady number of tips,” officer Damon Ing, a police spokesman, said Thursday. “Detectives are tracking those down as quickly as possible.”

Dozens of area investigators are working on the case, along with agents with the FBI and Texas Rangers. Police have said that they believe Alanna’s death “will be an isolated case.”

Two teens found Alanna’s body shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday at Roundrock Drive and Cindy Lane. In a 911 call, the teens’ father, Wesley Whiddon, told a dispatcher that a little girl had been found in a black trash bag, which had a belt and tape around it.

Officals with the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said they were awaiting lab results before ruling on the cause of death.

Alanna disappeared Monday afternoon while playing outside, her family told police. Her parents, another adult and her two siblings were home when she disappeared, police said.

Her father reported her missing about two hours after her body had been found about a mile from their home. Her parents could not be reached Thursday.

“Any single person in this area is a suspect,” Ing told reporters Wednesday.

“We have many leads to follow,” he said, “but at this time, the family is not suspected.”

On Tuesday morning, FBI agents could be seen removing items from Alanna’s home and from at least two vehicles that were parked nearby.

A judge has sealed a search warrant in the case, police said.

Alanna was a kindergartner at Willow Creek Elementary School in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw district, officials said.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers.

Anyone with information should call 682-888-3682 or 682-888-3684.

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