Suspects linked to Jocelyn Nungaray’s murder in north Houston identified, facing capital murder charges

Surveillance video helped detectives trace steps of suspects before child’s death

HOUSTON – After harrowing days of pleading with the public for answers, Jocelyn Nungaray’s family is getting closer to finding justice after the 12-year-old was found strangled to death in a north Houston creek.

Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 26, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 21, are both facing capital murder charges in connection to the murder of Jocelyn on June 17.

    Suspects’ arrest

    Early Thursday morning, sources tipped KPRC 2 that the two men, who were initially listed as persons of interest, were captured by police.

    Surveillance video show that the men were with Jocelyn hours before her death, according to HPD Lt. Stephen Hope.

    KPRC 2 reporter Re’Chelle Turner and photojournalist Roger Franco were at the scene in north Houston, where there was heavy law enforcement presence at an apartment complex on Northborough Drive in north Houston, near the scene where Jocelyn’s body was found.

    Our cameras were the only ones present at the scene and captured the moment when both men were placed in handcuffs and put in the back of police cars.

    suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

    Persons of interest captured at a north Houston apartment complex near where 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray's body was found (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

    suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

    Persons of interest captured at a north Houston apartment complex near where 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray's body was found (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

    Sources also corroborated and confirmed to KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz what we saw at the scene. Minutes after KPRC 2 Investigates reached out to HPD Chief Larry Satterwhite for confirmation regarding what we uncovered, HPD put out a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, the two were detained.

    A news conference was held at 2 p.m. where Lt. Stephen Hope was joined by Satterwhite and Mayor John Whitmire to give further details on the latest developments in the in this case.

    News conference reveals new details

    Chief Satterwhite thanked everyone who stepped up and called to help with the investigation and the arrest of the suspects involved. He said surveillance video traced the suspects’ steps before and after Jocelyn’s death.

    Mayor Whitmire explained why he feels close to this case, stating, “I’m here because the seriousness of this case and my personal interest as the mayor, as a father and grandfather.”

    During the news conference, Satterwhite said officers with HPD SWAT, gang division and north division and homicide division did a coordinated operation at 13355 Northborough Drive at Canfield Lake Apartment. The suspects were detained for questioning and detectives searched their residence where they found evidence linked to Jocelyn’s murder.

    Surveillance videos trace suspects’ steps

    Detectives learned that Martinez and Ramos started their evening at a Northborough area restaurant together and then walked southbound.

    They reportedly continued south and were first seen on camera, images that were first released to the public by HPD, and met with Jocelyn on Kuykendahl Road.

    suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

    Persons of interest (Houston Police Department)

    Later, the suspects and victim walked together to the 7-Eleven off Rankin and Kuykendahl roads, where additional surveillance video shows all three together.

    suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

    A new surveillance photos of Jocelyn at the 7/11 off Rankin and Kuykendahl roads around 12:17 a.m. Monday. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

    suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

    A new surveillance photos of Jocelyn at the 7/11 off Rankin and Kuykendahl roads around 12:17 a.m. Monday. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

    After a few minutes at the convenience store, all three walked to a bridge where Jocelyn was murdered, police said. The suspects reportedly continued walking south to their residence, leaving the girl’s body in the creek.

    Jocelyn’s mother speaks out for first time

    The news comes a day after Jocelyn’s mother, Alexis Nungaray, spoke for the first time about her loss since learning about her daughter’s murder. Tears streamed down her face as she spoke with KPRC 2 reporter Corley Peel about her 12-year-old daughter, Jocelyn.

      The heartbroken mom said she felt like she was in a living, ongoing nightmare that didn’t stop.

      “It’s like it’s not real,” Alexis Nungaray said. “I keep hearing everything and everybody tells me everything, and I hear it and it’s not registering.”

      suspects linked to jocelyn nungaray’s murder in north houston identified, facing capital murder charges

      Tears streamed down Alexis Nungaray’s face as she spoke with KPRC 2 Reporter Corley Peel about her 12-year-old daughter, Jocelyn Nungaray. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

      The last time Alexis Nungaray said she saw her daughter alive was Sunday night before they went to bed around 10 p.m.

      Her last words to Jocelyn were to not stay up late and that she was coming with her mother to work the next day. However, Houston PD said Jocelyn snuck out of the family’s apartment off Rankin Road sometime between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m.

      Around 6 a.m. Monday, a woman said she called 911 to report the child’s body in the water. The Houston Police Department Dive Team responded and recovered her body.

      The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled the 12-year-old died from strangulation on Tuesday. Medical examiners confirmed the next day that the body was identified as Jocelyn’s.

        Mrs. Nungaray said she has no clue who those men were in the surveillance photos but suspected that they are Hispanic men, possibly who live in their apartment complex or walked from the skate park.

        • WHO WAS SHE? ‘Smart and sweet’: Family shares memories of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray after she was found dead in Houston creek

        “I want karma to hit them,” she said. “I’m angry. They took advantage of her. She’s so young. She’s 12. I want justice. I want them to come forward. I want whoever has seen them to please call police. They took my baby away.”

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