Calif. Girl, 13, Was Allegedly Killed After Resisting Sexual Advances of Man She Talked to Online
Armando Cruz is accused of raping and killing Patricia Alatorre, 13, and lighting her corpse on fire in one of the "worst cases" Bakersfield police have ever seen
Horrifying new details have emerged in the killing of a 13-year-old California who was found dead after she had gone missing, say authorities.
Patricia “Patty” Alatorre of Bakersfield was reported missing on July 1, the Bakersfield Police Department said in a release.
She was last seen on surveillance video getting into a white truck at about 11:30 p.m. that night, say police.
On Monday, Armando Cruz, 24, of Inglewood, was arrested and charged with 12 felony counts including first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape by force/fear, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and contacting a minor with intent to commit sexual offense, according to Kern County Superior Court records.
On Tuesday he pleaded not guilty.
A police affidavit filed with the court and obtained by PEOPLE alleges that "over the course of a week," Cruz had communicated with the teen through social media, through which inappropriate photos were exchanged.
Cruz then allegedly traveled from Inglewood, in the Los Angeles area, to Bakersfield, nearly 2 hours away, “on two occasions to meet with her” at a designated spot, the affidavit shows.
On July 1, the second time they met, he allegedly “drove her around the block against her will as she screamed, indicating that she did not want to go with him," the affidavit shows.
Cruz then began to rape Alatorre, and when she told him to stop, he strangled her, the affidavit alleges.
After she died, he raped her twice before lighting her on fire, the affidavit alleges.
Cruz is being held without bail. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
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A GoFundMe launched in Alatorre's honor says the teen was the last child of eight kids and went by the nickname "Slim Jim" because she was "tall and skinny."
The page refers to her as "our precious soul, our baby," saying she "had a voice, bold personality."
"Patricia was a sweet, caring young lady," the page says.