The body of six-year-old Alanna Gallagher was found, hands and feet bound and almost naked, under a tarpaulin, about a mile and a half from their family home in the suburb of Saginaw, near Fort Worth, Texas.
As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) join the investigation Gallagher’s father, Karl, is pleading with the public for help in finding those who abducted his daughter from in front of their suburban home and killed her.
Police are currently looking for a red pickup truck, with a green splotch, that was seen in the area when the body was found by a group of teens.
Speaking to the press outside his home he said “I’m Karl Gallagher, the father of Alanna Gallagher, who the medical examiner has determined… has died.
“We urge anyone with information about her to contact police. We thank the Saginaw police, the FBI and any other agencies for their hard work on this. Please respect our privacy during this time.”
Alanna was abducted on Monday evening as she played outside the family home. Neighbors said it was not unusual to see the little girl riding her scooter up and down the quiet street. Her family, including her mother, father, two siblings and another man who lives with the family, were all at home at the time of the abduction.
Her body was found at 7.30pm that evening.
Karl Gallagher did not report her missing for two hours after that.
The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who can help them identify the child’s abductor. Police spokesman Damon Ing told the press they were following several leads in the investigation having already received several tips.
Her parents have been ruled out as suspects and have been meeting with grief counselors and chaplains since Monday night.
On Tuesday evening a candlelit vigil was attended by 100 people at a nearby Methodist church. Residents also started a makeshift memorial to the six-year-old on the curb close to where her body was found.
Speaking about the murdered child John Janus, a neighbor, told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram “She seemed smarter than the average (child her age), just because of the questions she’d always ask.
“And her parents are nice and very, very smart people. They like books. The last time I was in their home, the front room looked like a library.”
Another neighbor Kay Stief told the Dallas Morning News “She was a precious little girl. I usually just saw her on her scooter.”
Anyone with information is asked to contacts the Saginaw police on 682-888-3682 and 682-888-3684.
Here’s the Dallas Morning News report:
Spookiest ancient Irish myths and legends surrounding Halloween