Sunday, October 30, 2011

Evelyn Paniagua

Mercy Medical Center -- Sioux City notified South Sioux City police around 5 a.m. after a 3-year-old girl was brought to the facility and pronounced dead on arrival, South Sioux City Police Chief Scot Ford said.

Ford said the girl's mother discovered her after waking to feed another infant child.

"The perp broke into the house, sexually assaulted the child by raping and sodomizing her and then the child was killed. We believe by suffocation," Ford said. "The parents and two other family members were asleep at the residence when this occurred."

Police said another young child who was at the home, which police described as small but with at least two bedrooms, helped them identify the suspect as De Jesus Melisio-Camacho, who was living in Sioux City with several other men. Melisio-Camacho is charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault and burglary, all felonies.

Ford said police and officials with Immigration Customs Enforcement are examining Melisio-Camacho's immigration status.

Ford said an officer stopped Melisio-Camacho near the home at 3:45 a.m. Saturday but let him go, unaware of the crime he's accused of committing. That contact, however, helped police put the suspect in the area when they believe the crime occurred, between 1 and 3:30 a.m.

Ford said it has been determined the suspect was an acquaintance of the family, but a motive is not yet known.

"We do not have an actual motive at this point," Ford said. "That is probably one of the most exasperating parts of it."

Ford declined to offer more information regarding the case.

Sioux City Police Sgt. Mike Post said the suspect was found and taken into custody prior to 6 a.m. in Sioux City.


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