Cause of Death Revealed for Jocelyn Nungaray, 12-Year-Old Texas Girl Found Slain in Creek

Authorities have released the cause of death of Jocelyn Nungaray, the 12-year-old girl whose body was found in a Houston creek on Monday, June 17.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined Jocelyn died from strangulation, Houston police said in a press release shared on June 21.

Two suspects, identified by Houston police Lt. Stephen Hope as Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, have been charged with capital murder in connection with Jocelyn’s death, PEOPLE previously reported.

It’s unclear if the suspects, who were arrested on Thursday, June 20, have entered pleas or retained attorneys to speak on their behalf.

Police said at the time they believed Jocelyn had snuck out of her home at 10 p.m. the night before she was found dead in a shallow part of the creek and suspected foul play was involved in her death. Police also said the area where her body was found was within walking distance from her house.

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez houston police department. houston police department

According to KRIV, Jocelyn’s body was found early Monday by a woman on her daily morning commute.

“Horrifying, it was scary,” Billie Jean Jackson told the news station. “Being from a small town and then nothing like this ever happens. Finding that, it scared me as a mother and grandmother.”

Police previously said they were looking to speak with two unidentified males that were considered persons of interest. Lt. Hope later confirmed during a press conference on Thursday, June 20, that the suspects currently in custody are the same men.

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According to Hope, the suspects were spotted on surveillance cameras talking to Jocelyn after visiting a local restaurant on Sunday, June 16. Soon after, all three walked together to a convenience store and then went to a bridge, where investigators believe Jocelyn was murdered.

The relationship between the suspects and victim is still under investigation.

A GoFundMe created to help with Jocelyn’s funeral expenses states, “Her family was not prepared for such a loss and needed help to give her daughter the memorial she deserves, to honor her memory and to say our last goodbyes.”

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