Residents of Rockwall Texas, USA, and friends of 15-year-old Surie Baeza, who attended her Friday night memorial, have been in shock over her killing last Tuesday, allegedly by Juan Enrique Torres, 41, her estranged stepfather and father of her seven-year-old brother, who attacked her in “a fit of rage” after she threatened to call the police on him.
Multiple international news reports, including reports carried on CBS and NBC, recount the tragedy described by the written confession of Torres, a Belizean, reportedly made to police two days after the incident. Torres is said to have confessed to stabbing the girl, originally of Orange Walk, to death following an argument over money and a possible transaction with a pawnshop. Torres was wearing Baeza’s jewelry, police said.
Torres allegedly beat Baeza in the head with a wooden closet rod and stabbed her before leaving her locked insider her bedroom, where she later died. Based on accounts of when the girl was last seen, police indicate that the killing happened between 2:00 and 4:00 that afternoon. Surie’s mother found her dead inside her bedroom at around 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, police have recovered what they believe to be the murder weapon – a kitchen knife which the killer had wiped clean and put back inside the drawer from where it was obtained. Rockwall police also reported that they had recovered the bloody items the killer had stashed inside the trash bin at the residence.
Indications are that Torres was put on probation after having faced a domestic violence charge back in 2008. He had been in a relationship with Baeza’s mom for eight years, and at the time of Surie’s killing, he was living just up the street from the family’s home, to which he reportedly still had access.
Police said that there were no signs of forced entry at the home where the girl, a 9th grader at Rockwall Heath High School, was found murdered.
Apart from the fatal stab wounds, she also had defensive wounds, indicating that she fought her attacker. Torres suffered a broken wrist and complained of abdominal pains, police said.
Surie had stayed home from school on Tuesday because she was not feeling well. One news report indicates that Surie had a casual exchange of words with the person who had picked up her brother, Torres’ son, at 2:00 p.m. that same Tuesday. Her mother returned home at 4:00 p.m., but did not find her body until three and a half hours later, the news reports indicate.
Following his confession to police, Torres was taken to the Rockwall County Jail.