Persons of interest named in girl’s strangulation death

GULFPORT, Miss. (WALA) – Police have arrested two men who may have a possible connection to the disappearance and death of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson. Police chief Leonard Papania says the two men are being questioned as “persons of interest” in the capital murder investigation, but neither has been charged in the child’s death.

According to the Sun Herald, police arrested Julian Gray and Alberto Julio Garcia.

Police arrested Gray, 31 on charges of sexual battery and rape for an incident back in April, the Sun Herald reported.

Garcia, 29, was arrested for residential burglary at the mobile home where Thompson’s body was found.

Police say the two men lived together at the Palms apartment complex where Janaya lived.

Harrison County Coroner, Gary Hargrove has ruled strangulation as the cause of death for Janaya, who was last seen by her family Wednesday night outside the apartment.

The girl lived near the elementary school where she was to start kindergarten in a few weeks.

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