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Jan 28, 2005

Suspect charged in child?s murder

Story PictureA suspect has been arrested and charged in the murder of a nine-year-old Dangriga girl. He is seventeen-year-old Dennis Pineda. Sources tell News 5 that on Thursday Pineda, a Honduran national, who is acquainted with the victim’s family, gave a tearful confession to police. Authorities would not comment on a motive but we understand Pineda has stated that he was attracted to young Claudia Ramirez and wanted to have sex with the little girl. Sometime after six on Wednesday evening, he allegedly lured Ramirez away from her front yard where she was playing by asking the girl’s mother if he could borrow a broom. It is believed that when the child went over to the young man’s house he grabbed her. Reports are that as he left the house and took her to a secluded area on a farm situated behind the Ramirez residence, the girl started screaming. Investigations reveal that in an effort to shut up the child, Pineda knocked her in the head with a cement block. The child’s underwear and a slipper were found not far away from where it is believed she was hit. Police say based on what they found at the crime scene, they strongly suspect that after Ramirez was assaulted she was dragged for a short distance before Pineda threw her into the river. This afternoon an examination on the body revealed that the nine-year-old was sexually molested but there is no evidence to suggest that she was raped. There were severe injuries to the head, face and neck which, according to Pathologist Doctor Mario Estradabran, were responsible for her death. Because he found no presence of water inside the body, he does not believe Ramirez was alive when her body was thrown into the river. Pineda has been remanded to Hattieville prison.

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