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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An autopsy has confirmed that a 12-year-old girl found dead inside a mobile home was murdered.
According to Metro police, the girl, Yhoana Arteaga, was murdered on Thursday night.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said the child’s mother called 911 at 6:49 p.m. saying their daughter was “down” and “in distress” inside the home at the Hillview Acres Mobile Home Park off Old Dickerson Pike.
Emergency personnel arrived on the scene and attempted to resuscitate Yhoana but were unsuccessful. She was declared dead at the scene.
Aaron told media the preliminary investigation shows Yhoana had lunch with her mother around 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Her mother then went to work but communicated with her daughter at 5:30 p.m.
A little over an hour later, the 12-year-old’s mother arrived home with other family members and found her daughter “down” and “in distress.” The family reportedly “feared the worst” and called 911.
The autopsy found that Yhoana suffered from trauma unrelated to gunfire or laceration/stabbing. Police remained on the scene Thursday night and most of Friday searching the home for evidence.
Detectives are actively pursuing leads in the case.
Anyone who saw a suspicious person in or near the Old Dickerson Pike mobile home park, or anyone who may have information about the person who killed Yhoana, is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
Yhoana was registered at Liberty Collegiate Academy charter school. She was a student there for 2 years, though she had not attended this week due to injuring her leg while roller skating.
A statement on the school’s Facebook page read, “Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of Yhoana Arteaga, a 7th grade student at Liberty Collegiate and treasured member of the RePublic family. Our thoughts are with Yhoana’s family during this incredibly difficult time. Grief counselors will be on site at Liberty next week to support teachers and students. We love you, Yhoana.”
School spokesman Jon Rybka added, “Staff and scholars say she was the sweetest of kids, a great reader, well-know among students and staff.”