Posted on June 21, 2024

Migrant Charged With Murder of 12-Year-Old Jocelyn Nungaray Was Released Into US Just Weeks Ago

Jennie Taer, New York Post, June 20, 2024

Police in Houston have arrested two migrants from Venezuela for the murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray, who was lured away from home, then strangled and dumped in a bayou.

One of the suspects crossed the border illegally less than a month before the shocking murder, and was released into the US after claiming he feared for his life if he was sent back to his home country, sources told The Post.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, were charged Thursday with capital murder.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sources said Pena Ramos crossed into El Paso, Texas, on May 28. He was released soon after his interaction with border agents.

He told authorities that he planned to live with his cousin in Houston until his court appearance in July, sources said.

Agents put a GPS tracker on Pena Ramos, which was only set to monitor his location for 21 days, sources said.

It’s unclear whether he was wearing the tracker when Jocelyn was murdered.

The second suspect, Rangel Martinez, crossed the border at El Pas on March 14 and was released with a court date in August, sources said.

He also had a GPS monitor, but was removed from the program in May, according to the sources.

Investigators identified the suspects from surveillance footage, after they were seen following Jocelyn as she walked into a local convenience store.

Her body was found in a swampy creek on Monday by a Houston resident who happened to be driving by. {snip}