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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A community in Tennessee is on edge following the brutal murder of a 12-year-old girl inside her home.
Police say 12-year-old Yhoana Arteaga was home alone on Aug. 10 after being injured in a skating accident.
Around 5:30 p.m., Yhoana texted her mother to say that someone was knocking at the door.
A little over an hour later, her family found her dead inside her room.
“There is no doubt about that. It was a homicide, a senseless homicide, a brutal murder, yes,” Dr. Feng Li, the chief medical examiner, said.
Dr. Feng Li told WSMV that it took several hours to examine the girl’s body because her injuries were so severe.
The 12-year-old girl was beaten, strangled and left partially undressed. She suffered hemorrhaging and had several bruises and scrapes.
“Injuries on the neck like abrasions, ligature marks, were present,” Li said.
Li said because she was found partially undressed he also did a rape kit.
“We want to see if there is any sexual component,” he said.
It’s still unclear if there was an assault.
Li says it is a case that he considers unforgettable, adding that this is one of the cases that will likely stick with him forever.
“A lot of cases stay in your mind, especially the kids – the infant, the child, the adolescents. These are the tragedies we will remember for a long time,” Li said.
Li has conducted thousands of autopsies, and this was one of the toughest.
Police are 33 days into the investigation but still have not named any suspects or made any arrests in the case.
Friends say they are heartbroken and are desperate for answers.