Missing 12-year-old girl found dead in Houston creek, woman discovered body

FOX 26 spoke with the woman who reported finding a dead body in a Houston creek. Billie Jean Jackson called the police after she discovered what she first thought was a mannequin, but it turned out to be the body of a 12-year-old girl.

Jackson, visibly shaken by the incident, expressed her shock and fear. "It was horrifying, scary. You don't expect this in a small town," Jackson said. "It scared me as a mother and grandmother."

SUGGESTED: Rankin Road death: Body of 12-year-old girl found in creek, police asking for help

The Houston Police Department is investigating the death of the girl, whose body was located near West Rankin Road, just west of the North Freeway and close to where she lived.

On Tuesday evening, HPD released surveillance photos of two persons of interest in the death.

Image 1 of 3

Courtesy of Houston Police Department

"How could somebody do this? How could somebody leave someone lying there? It’s not something you expect to see anywhere," Jackson said.

The routine of her daily morning commute, during which she listens to the radio while driving her husband to work, changed that Monday morning when she spotted the body.

"I slowed down when I thought it was a mannequin and did a U-turn and came back and when I turned back around and realized it was actually a person I instantly called 911," Jackson said.

Authorities stated that the girl left her home without her parents knowing the previous night. "The mother last saw her daughter at 10 p.m. when she put her baby to bed, and sometime between 10 and midnight, she left," Houston Mayor John Whitmire said.

According to officials, the girl was talking to her 13-year-old boyfriend on the phone late Sunday night and was at a convenience store when the boyfriend overheard her talking to two men.

FOX 26 Houston is now on the FOX LOCAL app available through Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, Google Android TV, and Vizio!

Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has confirmed the girl died due to strangulation.

Whitmire emphasized the need for community vigilance.

"There are violent offenders on our street that we must do something about, public safety has to continue to be our, and I will include everyone, our highest priority," Whitmire said.

Jackson implored people to come forward if they noticed anything suspicious, to give families closure, and to show respect for those who have died.