Chronicle Texas: Lesly Sánchez went for a walk and was stabbed to death

16-year-old Lesly Sánchez ran into a park in Laredo, Texas, and was mercilessly killed three years ago. His murderer, Mario Ángel Gonzále...

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Foto: Cortesía de la Familia Sánchez
  • 16-year-old Lesly Sánchez ran into a park in Laredo, Texas, and was mercilessly killed three years ago.
  • His murderer, Mario Ángel González, 25, appealed his life sentence last week and says it is excessive punishment. However, a judge upheld his conviction.
  • Sánchez’s death reminds us of how vulnerable young girls can be when they are alone.

Lesly Sánchez, a jovial teenager, went out for a walk and met her death in a park Laredo, Texas. They killed her with several stab wounds.

Sánchez, 16, was murdered by Mario Ángel González, 25, who appealed her life sentence, saying it was excessive. However, the Fourth Court of Appeals in Austin he ratified his sentence.

The crime against Sánchez reminds many of the vulnerability to which young girls are exposed. A normality that should not be the case among Hispanics in the United States, but sadly it is.

The chronicle that will now be told is based on what is established in the legal documents of the case against González for the death of a girl who had a bright future in front of her.

On the hot night of Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Lesly Sánchez told her mother that she would go for a run in the park. Due to the extreme heat that falls in South Texas in the summer, many people exercise after the sun has set.

Sánchez’s mother gave her daughter permission and gave her the keys to her Kia Rondo car to go and come back faster. The girl then ran to the Haynes Recreation Center on Newport Avenue.

Around 9:00 at night, the girl arrived at the park and ran through the wooded paths. No one else saw her alive again.

Several hours later, Sánchez’s family worried that the girl did not return. Her mother had an application on her cell phone to know where her daughter’s phone was.

Lesly Sánchez’s relatives were struck by the fact that the girl’s phone was at the same point for a long time. So her brother and an uncle decided to go looking for her.

Lesly Sánchez, 16, went out for a run full of confidence and met her death. (Photo: courtesy of the Sánchez Family)

Sánchez’s family found the girl lying on the side of a road, with several stab wounds, she carried with her the cell phone that she used to listen to music while running. The ants were already covering her corpse.

Desperate for help, Sánchez’s relatives called the emergency number to report the discovery of the minor, who was covered in blood.

However, when paramedics at the Laredo Fire Department (LFD, for its acronym in English) arrived at the scene and could not do anything for the girl and declared her dead at the site.

So, the Homicide Division of the Laredo Police Department (LPD, for its acronym in English) took over the investigation of the murder of Lesly Sánchez.

Mario Ángel González, 25, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of Lesly Sánchez. But the man says it is an excessive penalty. (Photo: Laredo Police Department)

The first clue from the authorities was the theft because the Kia Rondo truck in which Lesly Sánchez arrived at the Haynes Recreation Center was not parked at the site.

A forensic report determined that the stabbing the girl received was done by someone, perhaps a man, bigger and stronger, who attacked her from top to bottom.

LPD detectives detected what may have been a struggle between the victim and her perpetrator. The agents then calculated that the man may have had the girl’s blood on his clothes and body.

LPD patrolmen were ordered to watch for their sight of the Kia Rondo car and were given the vehicle’s description and license plates.

The next day, a clue led officers to a neighborhood where someone reported seeing the Kia Rondo they were looking for.

The agents went to the place, less than half a mile from the park where the body was found, and found the vehicle parked on the street.

According to the neighbors, a large man had gotten out of his car, leaving him in the place since the night before. The declaration of those neighbors was crucial to find the murderer of Lesly Sánchez.

Detective Margarita Govea, of the LPD, obtained video images of several security cameras in the park and in the houses of the neighbors and where a Hispanic man, thick, tall, was seen, who arrived at the park walking around 8: 34 at night.

That same man is later seen at 10:08 at night in a video of a gas station, which the official Govea obtained, where the same man gets off the Kia Rondo, shakes off his clothes and enters the store to buy something.

The footage shows the man leaving the store, rechecking his arms and legs, filling the Kia Rondo with gas, and driving away. Officer Govea was struck by the attention with which the man acted after allegedly committing a murder.

An LPD officer recognizes the man, upon seeing the images, as Mario Ángel González since he had previously been arrested for a case of sexual assault on a woman that occurred a year earlier.

Based on that, the LPD agents went for González to question him, although in principle he was not accused of anything. The agents carried a search warrant to enter the home.

The agents entered the house, where only González’s mother was, and went to her room to check her clothes. In her closet, they found clothes that matched the ones she was wearing in the video images at the gas station, the park and the neighborhood where she left the car.

When the officers were in the house, the boy returned and the officers noticed that he had several minor injuries on his arms and neck, as if he had gotten into a fight with someone. They stopped him right there.

Forensic evidence confirmed that Mario Ángel González was the murderer of Lesly Sánchez, whom he killed with five stab wounds while the girl was fighting for her life. In December 2018, the man was sentenced to life in prison.

However, González sent a document to the Court of Appeals in which he declared that his sentence was an excess and asked that his sentence be lowered. He was out of luck. He will have to spend the rest of his life in prison.

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