Vigils Held for Slain Child Found Underneath Tarp

Vigil held at Saginaw United Methodist Church

By Jeff Smith and Scott Gordon
|  Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 11:06 PM CDT
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A vigil was held Tuesday night at United Methodist Church in Saginaw for the 6-year-old Saginaw girl who was found tied up and wrapped in a tarp on Monday night.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

A vigil was held Tuesday night at United Methodist Church in Saginaw for the 6-year-old Saginaw girl who was found tied up and wrapped in a tarp on Monday night.

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Vigils were held Tuesday night for the 6-year-old Saginaw girl who was found tied up and wrapped in a tarp on Monday as police announced no arrests or progress in the investigation.

The first memorial was 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.

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Saginaw Neighborhood in Shock

A Saginaw neighborhood is in shock and looking for answers after the gruesome discovery of a girl's body in a residential street. The FBI is helping with the investigation as a memorial grows on the street.

Child's Body Found in Street, Wrapped in Tarp

The FBI is joining an investigation after Saginaw police say a child's body was found dead underneath a tarp.
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The FBI joined the investigation after police say the young girl's body was found bound with a bag over her head underneath a tarp.

On Tuesday, agents searched the girl's home, where she lived with two siblings, her parents and another man.

Neighbors said the 6-year-old would sometimes wander the street by herself.

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.

"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.

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

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

Saginaw police officer Damon Ing said an autopsy was being performed Tuesday morning to learn how the girl was killed.

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.

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