(KXAN) - A 9-year-old Cedar Park girl initially thought to have died from an accidental electrocution was actually raped and murdered -and the electrocution an attempted cover-up, officials said Tuesday.
A Williamson County grand jury indicted Rone "Roni" Nunez on charges of capital murder and the aggravated sexual assault of a child in the death of Cecilia Izquierdo, who died in late April.
Cedar Park police initially said Cecilia died after touching a power tool to a power line - a determination made before an autopsy was completed, and in spite of the fact that her throat was cut.
Three months later, after an investigation by the Texas Rangers, officials believe Cecilia - whose grieving family spoke out about the danger of power lines after her death - was actually raped and murdered by Nunez, who was renting a room in her family's house.
There was no credible evidence of an electrocution, officials said Tuesday.
Nunez faces six counts of charges ranging from capital to aggravated sexual assault of a child, from kidnapping to injury to a child with a deadly weapon. The charges carry punishments up to life in prison and the death penalty.
Cedar Park police said Cecilia was electrocuted on April 25. They said the little girl touched a yard tool to the 120-volt power line and was electrocuted. However, investigator Ray Killebrew made that conclusion before an autopsy had been done and despite the fact that Isquierdo’s throat had been cut.
Nunez, a 23-year-old Honduras national, has been in jail since May 22, when DNA evidence came in implicating Nunez in the girl's rape.
According to the arrest warrant: “On June 10th the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory provided a final written report that states semen was located in the vaginal swab collected from the victim. By DNA comparison, the defendant was identified as the sole contributor of the semen sample.”
Nunez was renting a room at the same home Cecilia was staying in with her mother at the 2100 block of East Riviera Drive in Cedar Park, where the little girl was found dead.
On April 25, 2009 at about 3:30 p.m. Pepe Bonilla, Cecilia uncle, found the little girl’s body in a side yard. At about 2 p.m. Cecilia's mother told Bonilla she needed help looking for her. Cecilia had been missing for about an hour. It appeared she had been electrocuted because there was a yard tool nearby and a power line hanging 10 feet above the ground.
A day later, a physician reported preliminary information that Izquierdo may have been raped. The Williamson County District Attorney’s Office asked the Texas Rangers to investigate the case in addition to the Cedar Park Police Department. According to Warrant of Arrest for Nunez, “a physician collected physical evidence from the victim, including a vaginal swab… the physician also noted trauma consistent with” sexual assault.
Neighbor Wendy Paramo saw little Cecilia’s body, and the image still haunts her. When Cecilia’s uncle found the little girl he started screaming for help. Paramo heard the cries and ran next door. In the next few days after Cecilia’s death, Paramo raised thousands of dollars so Cecilia’s mother could bury her little girl in Mexico. Cecilia’s mother moved back to Mexico shortly after the burial.
Cecilia Izquierdo was a third-grade student at Purple Sage Elementary at the time of her death.
The Cedar Park Police Department has not yet released investigator Killebrew's personnel records. KXAN Austin News requested the documents Wednesday, July 22. Legally, Cedar Park police have 10 business days to comply.