Crime

Illegal immigrants charged with killing 12-year-old Texas girl were released by Border Patrol: Report

At least one of two illegal immigrants who were charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Texas were previously released by Border Patrol, according to multiple reports Thursday. Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, were caught crossing the border illegally in El Paso, Texas, in March and May, […]

At least one of two illegal immigrants who were charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Texas were previously released by Border Patrol, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, were caught crossing the border illegally in El Paso, Texas, in March and May, respectively, according to sources speaking with Fox News. Both were released into the United States, after which they allegedly murdered Jocelyn Nungaray this week.

Both illegal immigrants were from Venezuela.


The Washington Examiner reached out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Homeland Security. ICE said it is looking into the matter.

Acting Chief Larry Satterwhite speaks during a press conference held by the Houston Police Department related to the investigation of the murder of Jocelyn Nungaray on Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Houston. (Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Nungaray’s death caught the attention of former President Donald Trump, who blamed the killing on President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

“We have a new Biden Migrant Killing – It’s only going to get worse, and it’s all Crooked Joe Biden’s fault,” he said in a post on Truth Social. “He’s a disgrace to the Office of President, he’s a disgrace to America. I look forward to seeing him at the Fake Debate on Thursday. Let him explain why he has allowed MILLIONS of people to come into our Country illegally!”

The Washington Examiner also reached out to the White House for comment.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the murder of Nungaray hit particularly close to home.

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“As a grandfather and a father, it doesn’t get any worse,” he said, per the New York Post. “If there is any circumstance where you deny bail, this is it.” The outlet also cited DHS sources saying Pena Ramos was promptly released by border agents after being caught.

Security footage showed Martinez and Ramos following Nungaray into a convenience store. She disappeared shortly after and then was found dead floating in a bayou. Billie Jackson, who discovered the body, told ABC 13 news that she didn’t recognize her corpse as a body at first.

“I drove past, and when I looked up the creek, I thought it was a mannequin. I did a U-turn and I stopped on the bridge, put my flashers on, looked down, and realized it was someone. I parked right here and called 911 immediately,” she said.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences found she died by strangulation.

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The murder comes soon after another high-profile case in New York City in which an Ecuadorian immigrant was charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. A 23-year-old woman was credited with spotting him from a wanted poster and helping to hold him until police arrived.

Rachel Morin, a mother of five, was raped and killed last year, allegedly by an El Salvadoran migrant believed to be part of a gang. He was arrested this week but previously was caught trying to enter the country and deported three separate times, ICE told Fox News, before successfully entering the country a fourth time.

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