Jocelyn Nungaray murder: Illegal immigrant suspects 'lured' Texas 12-year-old, 'tied her up,' prosecutors say


The two illegal immigrant suspects charged with strangling 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray to death this week had “lured” her under a bridge in Houston before tying her up and killing her, prosecutors allege in new court documents obtained by Fox News. 

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, each face capital murder charges, and prosecutors are requesting that their bail be set at $1 million. 

“In this case the defendant lured a 12-year-old under a bridge, where he and his co-defendant remained with her for over 2 hours, took her pants off, tied her up, and killed her, then threw her body into the bayou,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney Michael Abner wrote. 

On Thursday, Fox News reported that the two suspects from Venezuela had entered the U.S. illegally before being released from custody. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson confirmed the news on Friday, saying in a statement that “Martinez and Pena both illegally entered the U.S. without inspection, parole or admission by a U.S. immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location.”

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SUSPECTS IN TEXAS GIRL’S MURDER WERE RECENTLY CAUGHT BY BORDER PATROL, RELEASED INTO US 

Jocelyn Nungaray murder suspects

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, left, and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez have been charged in the killing of Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston, Texas, on Monday, June 17. (Harris County Jail)

“On March 14, Martinez was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol near El Paso, Texas. That same day he was released on an order of recognizance with a notice to appear,” the spokesperson added. “Pena was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol on May 28 near El Paso. He was also released on an order of recognizance with a notice to appear the same day he was apprehended.” 

Investigators used surveillance video to track the movements of Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos before and after the killing, Houston police Lt. Stephen Hope said. 

Earlier this week, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said that Nungaray had been at a convenience store, talking to her 13-year-old boyfriend on the phone after sneaking out of her family’s apartment. The boyfriend told investigators that he could hear Nungaray talking with two people. 

TEXAS POLICE ARREST MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY ROBBED BANK WITH YOUNG CHILD IN TOW 

images of Jocelyn Nungaray

Jocelyn Nungaray, 12, was found strangled to death in a Houston creek this week. (Fox26 Houston courtesy of the Nungaray family)

Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos, meanwhile, started their evening at a restaurant together on Sunday night, police said. 

They left the restaurant and then were seen meeting with Nungaray and talking to her for a few minutes. Later, Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos, along with Jocelyn, walked to a 7-Eleven convenience store. 

Video image of Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, and image of Jocelyn Nungaray

Video image of Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, and an image of Jocelyn Nungaray (Houston Police Department; Fox Houston Courtesy of the Nungaray family)

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Afterward, the three of them walked to a bridge, where investigators said Nungaray was murdered. Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos then walked to the apartment they shared and left the girl’s body behind, police said. Police believe the pair lived in the same apartment complex as Nungaray. 

Fox News’ Griff Jenkins contributed to this report. 



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