A medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of a 12-year-old girl after she was killed at her home in a Tennessee community told a Nashville television station on Wednesday that the case was so brutal, it will stick with him for the rest of his life.
Yhoana Arteaga was home alone in her Goodlettsville home on Aug. 10 after being injured in a skating accident., WSMV, citing police.
Around 5:30 p.m., Yhoana texted her mother to say that someone was knocking at the door. A little over an hour later, her family found her dead inside her room.
“There is no doubt about that. It was a homicide, a senseless homicide, a brutal murder, yes,” Dr. Feng Li, the chief medical examiner, told the station.
In an interview with WSMV, Dr. Feng Li said that it took several hours to examine the girl’s body because her injuries were so severe.
The 12-year-old girl was beaten, strangled and left partially undressed. She suffered hemorrhaging and had several bruises and scrapes.
“Injuries on the neck like abrasions, ligature marks, were present,” Li said.
Because she was found partially undressed, Li also did a rape kit.
“We want to see if there is any sexual component,” he said.
It’s still unclear if there was an assault.
Li told the station it is a case that he considers unforgettable, adding that this is one of the cases that will likely stick with him forever.
“A lot of cases stay in your mind, especially the kids – the infant, the child, the adolescents. These are the tragedies we will remember for a long time,” Li said.
Li has conducted thousands of autopsies, and this was one of the toughest.
More than a month into the investigation, police still have not named any suspects or made any arrests in the case.