Murdered Girl's Family Car Set on Fire Overnight | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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

Murdered Girl's Family Car Set on Fire Overnight

Small memorial also set ablaze, officials say



    (Published Friday, July 19, 2013)

    The family of a murdered Saginaw, Texas, girl woke up to another crime scene Friday morning after someone set fire to the family's car.

    Investigators said someone torched the family’s car and also set fire to a small memorial for Alanna Gallagher. 

    The 6-year-old girl was found dead earlier this month. Her body was found under a tarp, bound with duct tape, just a mile from her home on July 1.

    Police still haven’t found the girl's killer and now they’re looking for an arsonist.

    The crime scene tape is back up on the Gallagher’s street in Saginaw.

    Police and neighbors said the grieving family has been through so much in the past couple weeks.

    “It sucks, it sucks for them to have to go through this,” said neighbor Megan Pearman.

    At about 2:15 a.m. Friday, the Gallagher family discovered someone set their car on fire in their driveway.  As the car was towed away, NBC 5 crews spotted damage to the front of the car.

    Police rushed to the home they’ve become familiar with recently, during the murder investigation of their daughter, Alanna.

    “We did find the car engulfed in flames, and we’re currently investigating it as an arson at this time,” said Damon Ing, an officer with the Saginaw Police Department.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is helping in the investigation. 

    Just down the street, agents learned a small memorial for the little girl had also been set on fire where a teddy bear and other items were charred.

    “The family is still distraught from the loss of their child, and of course, now they have to deal with this.  It’s very disturbing,” said Ing.

    The latest attack is taking detectives attention away from the murder investigation.  They’ve been scouring cell phone pictures and video from homeowner’s security cameras in the neighborhood and may soon release some of that information to the public.

    “It’s very disheartening.  In the fact, I know that investigators are spending a lot of time in the Alanna Gallagher case, and for whatever reason, someone intentionally set this fire,” Ing said.

    “Might be some kids, might be a hate crime,” said neighbor Raymond Rodriguez.

    Police said they haven’t received any threats against the family.  Right now, investigators don’t have a motive for the arson or the murder.