Rhia Almeida, 7, was found dead in an Ajo wash June 18, after the youngster had been beaten and stabbed, according to authorities.
Loretto Kyle Alegria, 19, was arrested in connection with the homicide the following day, Pima County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dawn Barkman said. He faces charges of first-degree murder. No motive has yet been established.
Almeida had gone to visit her 9-year-old friend but when she got to his house, only the boy’s older brother, Alegria, was home, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star.
Almeida’s body was found by two other youngsters who had been riding their bicycles in the area and alerted a nearby homeowner. The homeowner called 911 when told of the two girls’ discovery in the 500 block of West Ocotillo Avenue, Barkman said.
Detectives were later led to investigate the Alegria home in the 500 block of Palo Verde, where they found evidence that Almeida was killed inside the home and then dumped in the wash.
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