A 12-year-old was murdered inside her own Goodlettsville home while her mother was away at work.
Metro Nashville Police officials said the child's mother and other family members returned home Thursday to find the girl, identified as Yhoana Artega, unresponsive.
Police said first responders tried resuscitate her, but their efforts failed. She was pronounced dead.
The family lives in a mobile home in the 1200 block of Old Dickerson Road. According to neighbor Sheila Gentry, Artega was a student at Liberty Collegiate Academy.
"That was just so heartbreaking yesterday [Thursday]. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but when I saw the momma come out, and her crying and calling out that little girl’s name. It tore me up. They didn’t deserve that," Gentry said.
Yhoana’s mother said she had lunch with her at 12:30 Thursday afternoon before going to work at a local dry cleaning business.
She told police she spoke with her over the phone around 5:30 p.m. and seemed to be okay. Detectives believe the homicide took place sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:49 p.m.
Police officials said in a press release, "Without being specific due to the continuing investigation, the autopsy found that Yhoana suffered from trauma unrelated to gunfire or laceration/stabbing."
“At team of detectives from a number of police department components are working this case. Well pull out all the stops,” said Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron. “We need to know what the circumstances were in this mobile home between 5:30 and 6:45.
Police said they had no suspects and no one was in custody. They asked anyone with information to call Emergency Communications Center at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.
RePublic Schools Director of Growth and Advancement Kate Cooper released the following statement:
"We’re heartbroken by Yhoana’s death. Our thoughts are with her family in this incredibly difficult time. Right now, we’re focused on grieving the loss of a treasured member of our school community. Grief counselors will be on site at Liberty starting Monday to support staff and students.”