Family member is lone suspect in death of 10-year-old Tyler girl

The only suspect in the death of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco is a family member, police said in a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Gomez-Orozco’s remains were found early Sunday morning in a well behind a home in Bullard, Texas, about 15 miles south of Tyler.

The family member is described only as a Hispanic national born in 1992. A law enforcement source identified the suspect to News 8 as Gustavo Zavala-Garcia. His relation to Kayla remained unclear.

Zavala-Garcia was being held in the Smith County Jail on a Federal Immigration Customs detainer. Public records show he was arrested on assault charges in 2014.

Officials said Sunday that a lead provided to law enforcement led to a search warrant being obtained. Kayla’s body was recovered after midnight.

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“It was strictly a lead that was initiated by good investigative law enforcement,” Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.

No charges have been filed in Kayla’s death, but formal charges are expected in the coming days, the sheriff said.

The Tyler independent School District released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

We are saddened to learn that the body of Kayla Gomez-Orozco, the Jack Elementary school student who has been missing since Tuesday, Nov. 1, has been found.  Our hearts and sympathies go out to Kayla’s family and friends as they come to terms with this painful and senseless tragedy.  We ask that you keep the students and staff at Jack Elementary School in your thoughts and prayers. Additional counselors from throughout the District will be at the Jack campus next week to provide assistance and support as needed for staff and students.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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