Child's murder in Carrollton has international implications

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM

CARROLLTON — Mexican officials are now involved in the case of an 10-year-old girl who was murdered in Carrollton over the weekend.

The family of Jasmen Gonzalez attended a private candlelight vigil Tuesday night near the spot where her body was found. The Mexican Consulate is tying to help them arrange a funeral.

Earlier in the day, Jose Sifuentes, a relative of the dead girl, went from "person of interest" to accused killer.

"How do you fathom losing a 10-year-old child?" asked Carrollton police spokesman Lt. Doug Mitchell.

With Sifuentes now in jail, police now have another priority — helping the victim's family.

"There is an anonymous benefactor that's going to help with transportation costs and other necessities," Mitchell said, adding the police have also been in touch with Catholic Charities to see about helping Jasmen's grandparents travel from Mexico to her funeral in Oklahoma City.

The Mexican Consulate in Dallas told News 8 they are guiding the Gonzalez family through the process of getting humanitarian visas for relatives in Mexico.

Consulate staffers have also spoken to Jose Sifuentes, who is in the U.S. illegally, officials said. The consulate is monitoring his case to ensure his rights are upheld, but said they will not provide any other help to him.

Sifuentes had been deported from the U.S. in the past. He had been in Carrollton for about a month.

"I see him two times, that's it... he's a new resident," said apartment manager Ruth Reyes.

Sifuente's common-law wife is the victim's cousin. They have a child. On Tuesday, their apartment still held toys, but Reyes said most of their belongings were packed into a moving truck overnight.

Sifuentes is charged with murder. A capital murder charge could come later, after police determine whether the 10-year-old was sexually assaulted.

"There are a lot of things that still have to be done... a lot of evidence that still has to be analyzed," Lt. Mitchell said. "To my knowledge, that determination has not been made."

Jasmen's family was waiting for her body to be released by the medical examiner's office. They will then return to their home in Oklahoma City for the funeral.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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