Continuing coverage of events related to the murder of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher

Investigators Piecing Together Slain Child's Final Hours

Vigil held at Saginaw United Methodist Church

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    NEWSLETTERS

    According to an FBI receipt of seized evidence, federal agents took a blue-gray tarp, electrical tape, and plastic bags from a car registered to the victim’s parents. (Published Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013)

    Investigators are piecing together the final hours of a 6-year-old girl that was found in the middle of a Saginaw neighborhood bound with a plastic bag over her head  and covered with a tarp.

    Police announced no arrests or progress in the investigation Wednesday morning.

    The Tarrant County medical examiner's office has scheduled a Wednesday autopsy on the girl to find her official cause of death. Family members confirmed the child's identity, Alanna Gallagher, Wednesday.

    Federal Bereau of Investigations agents and Texas Rangers joined the investigation after Saginaw police say the young girl's body was found bound with a bag over her head underneath a tarp about a mile away from her home.

    911 Call: Saginaw Girl's Body Found

    [DFW] 911 Call: Saginaw Girl's Body Found
    Audio of a 911 call to Saginaw police reporting a girl's body that was found wrapped in a tarp. (Published Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013)

    Saginaw police requested assistance from the FBI after the body was removed. A FBI Evidence Response Team collected evidence and took photographs of the crime scene early Tuesday morning.

    According to a FBI receipt of seized evidence, federal agents took a blue-gray tarp, electrical tape, and Walmart plastic bags from a car registered to the victim’s parents.

    The car is parked on the street in front of where the 6-year-old victim lived. Agents also searched the girl's home, where she lived with two siblings, her parents and another man.

    Saginaw police confirmed that the FBI took evidence as part of their investigation. An FBI spokeswoman would not confirm anything was removed from the car, and said that Saginaw police are leading the investigation.

    Investigators Piecing Together Child's Final Hours

    [DFW] Investigators Piecing Together Child's Final Hours
    Police have more questions than answers after a 6-year-old girl was found in the middle of a Saginaw neighborhood bound with a bag over her head underneath a tarp. (Published Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013)

    Neighbors told NBC 5 the 6-year-old girl would wander the streets alone, and would become visibly upset and cry when she had to go back home after playing with other children.

    The 6-year-old was a student at Willow Creek Elementary School in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District. This morning more than 15 adults were at the victim’s elementary school, including grief counselors, teachers, and administrators. The district said a handful of students stopped by Wednesday morning to discuss their feelings with the counselors.

    Police are looking for a red pickup truck with a splash of green paint that may be connected with the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 682-888-3682 or 682-888-3684.

    Vigils Held for Girl

    Vigils for the girl were held Tuesday night with the first memorial at United Methodist Church in Saginaw.

    "I just hope they catch whoever did this," said Stacy Valenzuela, who didn't know the victim but attended the service with her 10-year-old daughter. "My biggest concern is it was somebody's little girl. And just having little girls of my own, makes my heart hurt. It makes me sick."

    Another impromptu candlelight vigil was held near the spot where the girl was discovered.

    Katie Whiddon said she and her son were among several people who discovered the girl's body after they tried to remove what they believed was trash in the street.

    LISTEN: 911 Call of Report of Girl's Body

    "My son started feeling around and said, 'Mom, I think there's a body in there.' And I said, 'No, no, no,'" she said.

    Residents discovered the tarp in the middle of the street near Roundrock Drive and Cindy Lane on Monday night.

    "At first, I just thought it was some rubber stuff ... and then I got a closer look, and all I saw was a bag, and I saw some hair sticking out and so, I was like, 'Oh my God. It's a girl!'" John Smith, 18, said. "And that's when I dropped to my knees and just started crying."

    "Every time I walk out that front door, I'm going to look over here and know I found a little girl -- someone's little girl that's just sitting here miserable in the middle of the street dead, and her family's out there wondering where she's at," Smith said.

    "I was panicking," Whiddon said. "I was freaked out. How can somebody hurt a little girl?"

    NBC 5's Greg Janda, Jeff Smith, and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.