Capital murder charges filed against 2 Venezuelan men in the death of a 12-year-old girl in Houston

Prosecutors filed capital murder charges Friday against two men suspected of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl whose body was found in a creek after she disappeared during a walk to a convenience store.

The charging documents filed in Harris County, Texas, court do not list attorneys who could speak on behalf of Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, both jailed in the death of Jocelyn Nungaray.

The girl's body was found Monday in a shallow creek after police said she sneaked out of her nearby home the night before. The medical examiner has determined that her cause of death was strangulation.

Police arrested Martinez and Ramos, who investigators said were roommates, on Thursday. Police said surveillance video showed two men approaching Jocelyn before walking to a Houston convenience store with her. The three then walked together to a bridge, where Jocelyn was killed, police said.

Acting Houston Police Chief Larry Satterwhite said investigators had scoured “every potential video feed” to identify the suspects.

"They were talking to everyone possible that might have seen something or heard something. And their hard work paid off,” Satterwhite said at a news conference Thursday.

The two men are Venezuelan nationals who entered the United States illegally in March, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Martinez was arrested March 14 and Pena on March 28, both by U.S. Border Patrol near El Paso, Texas, about 670 miles (1078 kilometers) from Houston, the statement said. Both were then released with orders to appear in court at a later date. How they traveled to Houston has not been revealed.

According to court documents filed Friday, the suspects allegedly lured the girl under a bridge and remained with her there for more than two hours. They allegedly took off her pants, tied her up and killed her before throwing her body in the bayou, a Harris County prosecutor wrote in a court filing.

Police said the results of a sexual assault exam on the victim are pending.

It was not known if Jocelyn knew the men, police said. The girl's mother, Alexis Nungaray, told KRIV-TV that she does not recognize them. Earlier this week, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the girl had been talking on the phone with her teenage boyfriend after she had snuck out of her house, and he could hear men in the background.

“There’s a lot of crazy people out there, and just by looking at them, you never really could know,” Nungaray said. “My baby didn’t deserve this at all.”

Nungaray told KPRC-TV she wants to see justice for her daughter.

“I want karma to hit them. I’m angry. They took advantage of her. She’s so young," Nungaray said. “They took away my first born."

Ken Miller, The Associated Press