BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An Inglewood man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a dozen felonies, including rape and murder, in connection with the death of a 13-year-old Bakersfield girl.
Armando Cruz, 24, wore a mask as he appeared in court on charges that make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. He’s accused of killing Patricia Alatorre, who went missing July 1 in the area of Hosking Avenue and Wible Road.
On Sunday, police said law enforcement had located and seized a vehicle that matched the description of a white pickup seen in the area around the time of Alatorre’s disappearance. They detained a man, and Cruz was interviewed and arrested on suspicion of killing Alatorre.
Police have said they consider Alatorre deceased but have released no further information.
Cruz is held without bail. He’s next due in court July 30.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations to pay for Alatorre’s funeral. As of Tuesday afternoon, $22,362 had been raised toward the $25,000 goal.