A 12-year-old girl, Yhoana Arteaga, was home alone when an unexpected knock on the door prompted her to text her mother out of concern. Just over an hour later, her mother and siblings returned to find her savagely murdered. Now, police and investigators are searching desperately for a suspect and appealing to the public for help in the wake of this horrific crime.
Yhoana Arteaga was by herself recovering from a leg injury she sustained from a skating accident a few days earlier and required crutches to move around her home at the Hillview Acres Mobile Home Park in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. At approximately 5:30 p.m., the 7th grader texted her mother to say someone was knocking on their door. At 6:45 p.m., neighbors heard screams from Yhoana’s mother who found her daughter’s lifeless body, according to reports.
Police state that there were no signs of forced entry into the home, which have led them to believe that Yhoana knew her murderer and that they knew she was home alone. Certain details of the crime have been withheld from the public to help vet tips, but the police state that the 12-year-old was repeatedly bludgeoned.
“An examination of the crime scene, as well as autopsy results, show that Yhoana was, frankly, brutally murdered,” Dan Aaron, spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department told The Tennessean. “Without being overly specific, it was blunt force trauma to her body. Her clothing was in disarray.”
According to Aaron, the detectives are pursuing a few leads but have been overall disappointed with the lack of tips they’ve received considering the nature of the crime. He believes that there are people in the community with knowledge of who could have been responsible for Yhoana’s death and are pleading for them to come forward. Until then, detectives are hoping to gain answers from forensic testing, which is currently underway at the Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Laboratory.
“This is a horrible, brutal thing,” Sergeant David Kautzman told reporters. “I’ve never seen anything this brutal in my entire career.” While Yhoana’s family desperately waits for answers, the community has come together to help raise money for the funeral expenses. In just six days, Yhoana’s GoFundMe campaign surpassed its $10,000 target. “Kind, polite, caring, fun, intelligent and beautiful she will be remembered as a wonderful daughter and a great friend to all who knew her,” the campaign reads.
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