BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The man accused of raping and killing 13-year-old Patricia Alatorre is now scheduled to stand trial in October.
Armando Cruz, 26, is set for trial Oct. 17 on charges including first-degree murder and rape. Judge Colette M. Humphrey scheduled the date after a brief discussion with attorneys Wednesday.
Alatorre was initially reported as a runaway but a neighbor’s cellphone camera captured her getting into a white pickup late July 1, 2020. Detectives found conversations on her Instagram account between her and a man demanding she meet him. The man, later identified as Cruz, threatened to post inappropriate photos of her online.
It’s alleged Alatorre met with Cruz once previously, and agreed to see him a second time after he threatened to leak the photos.
Cruz, arrested in Inglewood, described in detail how he killed the teen and disposed of her body, according to court documents. He told detectives he strangled Alatorre then covered her mouth and nose with duct tape to make sure she was dead, the filings say.
Alatorre’s cellphone was found where Cruz said he tossed it as he drove south on Highway 99 back to Inglewood, the filings say, and the location where Cruz said he left Alatorre was where an unidentified female’s body was located the night of July 3. The body was later identified as that of Alatorre.