By Barbara Grijalva - email
AJO, AZ (KOLD) - A young Ajo girl is dead. Her neighbor is under arrest.
Pima County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives have arrested 19-year-old Loretto Kyle Alegria on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Deputies say 7-year-old Rhia Almeida was found murdered near Alegria's home on Thursday.
Ajo is about 150 miles west of Tucson.
Two girls riding their bicycles found the child's body in a wash.
At a news conference at sheriff's headquarters on Friday, an investigator said Alegria had had some run-ins with the law, but nothing like this.
"The contact is nothing that would ever lead you to believe that he would have committed an act such as this. This is a vile, brutal act," Captain Chris Nanos said.
Nanos would not be more specific, but he said the little girl's body showed signs of blunt force trauma.
"There is evidence of other trauma to the body, but we'll wait to hear from the medical examiner tomorrow morning to get specifics on that," Nanos said.
Nanos said the child's mother told deputies Rhia had walked to a friend's house a few streets away to visit about 5:00 or 5:30 Thursday afternoon.
He says her body was found about two hours later.
The friend Rhia had gone to play with was the suspect's brother.
Deputies say evidence they gathered leads them to believe Rhia was killed in Alegria's house.
They say they don't believe there were witnesses to the crime.
KOLD News 13 found Alegria's myspace account. The suspect has not logged onto the page since 2007, but the words contained are an insightful look into his mind.
On the page, Alegria talks about not having any friends and hints at an obsession with sex. he also seems to brag about being to jail three times. He has no friends on the social networking site, either.
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