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Nashville detectives: 12-year-old girl’s murder is the most brutal they’ve seen

(Submitted to WZTV)

Metro Nashville Officers said Tuesday a 12-year-old was brutally murdered inside her mobile by someone she knew.

Police pleaded in English and Spanish for anyone who knows anything about 12-year-old Yhoana Arteaga's brutal murder to come forward.

“This is a horrible, brutal thing,” MNPD Sgt. David Kautzman said. "I've never seen anything this brutal in my entire career."

According to MNPD Spokesperson Don Aaron, Yhoana's last communication was with her mom. She texted her mom Thursday evening saying someone was knocking on the door.

Yhoana had been at home on crutches that day after she was injured in a skating accident. After the text, her family members arrived home around 6:45 p.m. to find her dead.

"Without being overly specific, there was blunt force trauma to her body and her clothing was in disarray," Don Aaron said.

Due to the location of the home and Yhoana's skating injury, police believe she knew her killer. There was no obvious forced entry into Yhoana's home.

Victoria Lujan, 9, and her family live across from where Yhoana was killed in the Hillview Acres Mobile Home Park on Old Dickerson Road.

“She was a really nice friend because when we went to go and play with my other friends sometimes she would say hi and we'd play together,” Lujan said.

While such a tragic death is difficult for children to understand, Victoria has a message for her friend Yhoana’s family.

“I'm so sorry that their sister passed away, and I know they really loved her,” Lujan said. “And I'm sorry also to the mom that loved her daughter.”

The brutality of the young girl’s murder is also too much for neighbor Margaret Harper to bear.

“Why, Why, why, why take a child for God's sake,” Harper said.

Harper said she’s also a mother and grandmother and plans to send a sympathy card to Yhoana’s mother.

“Honey I’m so sorry about your death," Harper said. "I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do. We love you. God bless you. That's all I would want to say."

Metro investigators are pleading for people to come forward with any information and call the Emergency Communications Center at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

"This was a horrible, brutal, violent crime,” Sgt David Kautzman said. “Given this information, I would ask the entire community to look at the people you know and if anything raises a suspicion, give us a call.”

Partners in the Struggle Organization is holding a candlelight prayer vigil for Yhoana on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The prayer vigil will take place at the Goodlettsville mobile home park at 1229 Old Dickerson Road.

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