Man charged in slaying of 5-year-old Miss. girl

GULFPORT, Miss. (WALA)

Gulfport Police arrested Alberto Julio Garcia in the sexual assault and killing of 5-year-old Ja-Naya Thompson.

Ja-Naya disappeared from her home Wednesday, July 16. Her body was found a day after she disappeared in a vacant mobile home.

The Sun Herald reports Ja-Naya was kidnapped. Police said she was sexually assaulted and strangled. Investigators said Garcia lived in the same apartment complex as Ja-Naya.

“We just went down this building knocked on all the doors here and on this side and that’s when the mother drove around the front building where the other pool is,” said Kerstine Green who is neighbors with the family.

Green said her daughter played with Ja-Naya a few times and the two were going to start kindergarten together in the fall.

“It’s scary to think about. He could have been watching us as well. I hate to think anyone could do that to a child,” Green said.

Last week a man named Julian gray was arrested as a person of interest. According to the Sun Herald, he is still a person of interest in the case but has not been charged.

He was arrested for a residential burglary at the home where Ja-Naya’s body was found but he has not been charged in relation to this case.

According to the Sun Herald, Garcia is already facing charges of sexual battery and rape for an incident last April. He’s now in jail but Gray.

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