Police: Tips needed in murder of 12-year-old girl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: Tips needed in murder of 12-year-old girl

Yhoana Arteaga was found murdered in her family's mobile home. (WSMV) Yhoana Arteaga was found murdered in her family's mobile home. (WSMV)
GOODLETTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro police are asking for help in identifying the person who killed a 12-year-old girl in Goodlettsville earlier this month.

An autopsy confirmed Yhoana Arteaga was murdered last Thursday evening inside her family’s mobile home in the 1200 block of Old Dickerson Pike.

“The killer knows how she was found. The killer knows what he did," said Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron.

So far, police say tips in the crime have been very limited. Investigators are optimistic that scientific testing by the Metro police crime lab will help develop meaningful leads in this case.

Police said Yhoana’s mother had lunch with her daughter around 12:30 p.m. last Thursday before going to work. She received a text from Yhoana around 5:30 p.m. that someone was knocking on the mobile home door.

Yhoana was found dead by her mother and other family members around 6:45 p.m.

Police said Yhoana was brutally killed, suffering blunt force trauma to her body. Her clothes were in disarray.

“This is a horrible, brutal thing. I’ve never seen anything this brutal in my entire career," said Sergeant David Kautzman.

There was no obvious sign of forced entry into the mobile home. Police said Yhoana may have known the murderer.

Detectives cannot say at this time if Yhoana was sexually assaulted, but Metro's sex crimes unit is assisting with the investigation.

"Why her? Why this mobile home? Why Dickerson Pike? At first blush it would appear she knew the person," Aaron said.

Detectives are working to find out who Yhoana was with between the time she had lunch with her mother and when she was found dead.

Arturo Lujan, who lives across the street with his wife and two daughters, said he no longer feels safe.

His 9-year-old daughter Victoria translated for him.

"He is scared something is going to happen again so they watch us outside," Victoria said.

Victoria said she knew Yhoana and they would say "hi" to each other.

"We can't really be calm now after what happened," she said.

The mobile home where Yhoana was killed is still secured by police so that all evidence remains intact.

Police are asking anyone who saw a suspicious person in or near the 1200 block of Old Dickerson Pike, or anyone with information about Yhoana’s murder to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

Part of the reason police believe they have not received many tips is because of the language barrier. A Spanish-speaking detective was at a police press conference on Tuesday to appeal to those who might not speak English.

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