Dad talks after daughter’s body found in desert

Published: Jul. 1, 2014 at 1:38 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:14 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - T

he father of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzales talked publicly for the first time about his daughter, whose body was discovered decomposing in the desert near Avra Valley and Trico Roads this month.

Maribel Gonzales would have turned 14 years old on July 12. Her dad, Abrian Gonzales, is devastated about never being able to celebrate with her again. Instead of planning for a birthday party, he said he is doing everything he can to help Pima County Sheriff Detectives find clues about his daughter’s suspicious death.

At a Homicide Survivors press conference on Monday, Abrian Gonzales said he always worked hard to keep his daughter out of trouble. Gonzales said it was not unusual for his daughter to stay at a friend’s house, but this last time the family started to worry after not hearing from her for a whole day.

Maribel last lived with her grandmother, according to her father, because her mother is recovering from serious injuries after getting run over with a car during a New Year’s Day altercation in Tucson.

The last time the family heard from Maribel was when she told her mom she was going to a friend’s house, according to Abrian Gonzales.

Her family said they reported her missing to authorities June 3 after not hearing from her for a whole day. Pima County Sheriff Deputies found her body in the desert three days later.

Authorities are not saying how she died until they get forensic test results back.

Maribel’s dad says he never imagined something like this could happen to her.

“She trusted too many people,” Gonzales said about his daughter. “She thought everybody was her friend and I would tell her sometimes, not everybody is friendly, so you got to be careful.”

Anyone who might have any information about this case is asked to call the Pima County Sheriff Department or 88-CRIME to report anonymously.

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