BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Los Angeles man has been arrested on charges of murder, kidnapping, and rape in connection with the death of a Bakersfield teenager.
Thirteen-year-old Patricia Alatorre was last seen at her family’s home on Granite Hills and Cresent Ridge Streets in South Bakersfield the night of July 1st. Initially, Alatorre was reported as a runaway teenager.
“She did make a makeshift person in the bed. That’s not like her,” said her mom, Clara. “She put her pajamas in the head part to make it look like somebody was in the bed, but she locked her door.”
Her mom said she had never run away before and claims there have not been any issues in the family. Her parents tried to locate her phone but found the signal ended on the freeway south of town. Then the investigation quickly became something darker.
“On July 4th, video surveillance was located which depicted Patricia getting into a white older-model pickup truck,” said BPD Sergeant Robert Pair.
Her mom added, “it sounds like she said, ‘answer your Snapchat.’ We can’t tell if she said, “am I leaving’ or ‘I’m not leaving.’”
BPD found the truck in Inglewood Sunday. They arrested the owner, 24-year-old Armando Cruz, in LA County. Cruz was booked on 11 felonies including first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape, possession of child pornography, among other disturbing charges involving contact with a minor. It’s not yet confirmed whether Alatorre knew this man, or whether he was a stranger.
“We’re not sure if she left on her own or somebody coached her out,” her mom said.
A vigil in her honor was held Monday evening. BPD is investigating her disappearance as a homicide. If you have any information about this crime, you’re urged to call BPD at 327-7111.