Jocelyn Nungaray: Suspects face capital murder charges in death of 12-year-old

Authorities have identified two men arrested in connection with the murder of 12-year-old girl Jocelyn Nungaray whose body was found in a creek.

During a press conference held by the Houston Police Department, investigators disclosed information about the disturbing discovery near the creek where Nungaray was found. Two Hispanic men face capital murder charges.

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"Hearing that the gentlemen that were in these surveillance video, that they’ve been found, they’ve been caught, and taken in for questioning, it was like the greatest news to hear this morning to be wakened up with," said Alexis Nungaray, Jocelyn's mother, describing her reaction to learning that the suspects had been apprehended.

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The SWAT team, gang division, Northbelt division, and homicide division coordinated an operation to apprehend the suspects at an apartment complex they lived at near the crime scene. Investigators said they found evidence connecting the suspects to the crime in the apartment. 

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12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray

Alexis Nungaray is coping with the surreal loss of her daughter Jocelyn, who was strangled and left in a creek.

"It still doesn’t register, I can’t believe it’s her, it will take some sinking in," she expressed.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, both Venezuelan natives, have been charged with capital murder. The immigration status of Martinez and Ramos has not been confirmed.

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Houston Mayor John Whitmire stated he would be keeping his eye out on the court and the district attorney's office,"The charges have been filed. Now we want the justice system to do its job. If there’s ever a circumstance where you do not give someone bail, this is it."

The suspects' interactions with Jocelyn and the exact details of her death have not been fully disclosed as the investigation continues. Authorities have requested a sexual assault kit as part of the ongoing process.

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Courtesy of Houston Police Department

Houston police said it all started Sunday night when the suspects were at a restaurant and were seen going southbound. As they were going southbound, they were caught on a surveillance camera. According to Lt. Steven Hope with HPD, the suspects were seen speaking with Jocelyn before accompanying her to a convenience store and later to the bridge where she was killed.

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The suspects have cooperated with police, as has the family of Jocelyn's 13-year-old boyfriend, who was the last known person to have spoken with her. 

Reflecting on the tragic night, Alexis said, "I would’ve stayed up with her, I would’ve just lacked sleep, I would’ve gave her the biggest hug and probably wouldn’t have let go."

As of now, the suspect's immigration status remains unclear, but inquiries have been made with Homeland Security for further details.