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A young California teenager was allegedly strangled while she was attempting to fight off rape from a man who targeted her online, according to horrific new details released in the case.
Armando Cruz, 24, has been charged with the murder and rape of 13-year-old Patricia "Patty" Alatorre, who disappeared from her home on July 1 and is presumed dead.
The Bakersfield Police Department filed a brief probable cause declaration on Tuesday that revealed a number of gruesome details about the night Alatorre was allegedly murdered.
Police alleged that Cruz first met the girl on social media. He then induced the 13-year-old to send him nude images of herself during the course of their communications, according to the declaration obtained by Oxygen.com.
Cruz met the girl twice in person, driving from Los Angeles to Bakersfield and convincing her to perform oral sex on him the first time they met, "knowing that she was 13 years old," the document reads. The second time he drove to meet her on July 1, Cruz “drove her around the block against her will as she screamed, indicating that she did not want to go with him."
Cruz then allegedly raped Alatorre for several minutes, placing his hand over her mouth and strangling her while he was assaulting her, KBAK reported.
"Believing that she was still alive, he bound her arms with duct tape that he brought with him, forced material in her mouth, and covered her mouth and nose with duct tape with the intention of killing her, so he would not get in trouble," the court document reads.
After Alatorre died, police claim Cruz raped her corpse two more times before setting her body on fire, according to KBAK.
It is not clear if Alatorre's body has been found or where Cruz allegedly killed the teenager, the Bakersfield Californian reported.
Cruz was questioned by police Sunday and arrested following the interview.
“Cruz made statements that are consistent with establishing probable cause for his arrest for the kidnapping and murder,” Sgt. Robert Pair, the public information officer for the Bakersfield police, previously told Oxygen.com.
Bakersfield police initially believed that Alatorre may have been a runaway until surveillance footage was uncovered that showed an older model white truck in the area where she was last spotted, local station KBAK reports.
Cruz pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges on Tuesday in Kern County Superior Court, including counts of rape and first-degree murder, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
He is being held without bail and it is unclear whether Cruz has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
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