Pictured: The girl, 6, found murdered under a tarp as FBI offers $10K reward for monster who abducted her, stripped her naked, bound her hands and dumped her body
- Teens playing in the street found the body of the girl
- Her hands and feet were bound and she was naked except for a pair of purple underwear
- FBI has joined the investigation and deemed the case a murder
- Police looking for red pickup truck with green splotch that was seen in the area when the girl’s body was found
Theses are the first heartbreaking photos to emerge of Alanna Gallagher, the little six-year-old girl found horrifically stripped, bound and and murdered in a quiet suburban Fort Worth neighborhood.
The photos reveal an adorable child with no shortage of smiles for the camera. Neighbors said she was an inquisitive ‘spitfire’ who always seemed to have questions that betrayed an intellect beyond her young age.
Alanna’s body was found wrapped in a tarp a mile and a half from her home in Saginaw, Texas, on Monday night. She her hands and feet were bound, she had a plastic bag over her head and she was naked except for a pair of purple underwear.
Police on Wednesday announced that the FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who helps them find the monster who abducted Alanna from her parents’ house.
Little angel: This is Alanna Gallagher, the six-year-old who was taken from her suburban Texas home and murdered on Monday night
Neighbors said the often saw the little girl riding her scooter up and down her street in the quiet neighborhood in Saginaw
Alanna is seen here with her father Karl, a defense contractor, and her mother Laura – along with her two older siblings
Horror in Texas: A little girl’s body was found bound and naked under this plastic tarp in Saginaw, Texas, outside Fort Worth on Monday night
At a news conference, police spokesman Damon Ing said investigators are tracking down several leads and have already received numerous tips about the disappearance of little Alanna – but they need to public’s help to find her killer.
Alanna’s parents have been ruled out as suspects in the case, Ing said. Her mother and father have been meeting with police chaplains and grief counselors since their daughter disappeared Monday night.
Investigators say they are trying to figure out exactly when Alanna was taken from her home. Her body was found about 7.30pm about a mile and a half from her parents’ house.
Saginaw police have set up to 24-hour tip lines for the public to leave potential information about the case. The phone numbers are 682-888-3682 and 682-888-3684.
More than 100 people showed up for a candle-light vigil at a nearby Methodist church Tuesday night to pray for little Alanna. Residents also started a make-shift memorial on a curb near where her body was found. By Tuesday night, the line of stuffed animals, flowers and cards stretched half the block.
Neighbors say the inquisitive girl with ‘curly brown hair and a constant smile’ loved to play alone outside in her front yard – but was cautious to always tell strangers they had to keep away.
Neighbors said Alanna always seemed far smarter than other children her age and always seemed to ask mature questions
Perfect pumpkin: Alanna’s father Karl Gallagher posted dozens of adoring photos of his daughter, and all his children, on his Facebook page
Alanna is seen here dressed a Little Bo Peep for Halloween. Neighbors said her father loved to take her trick-or-treating
Mourning: About 100 people turned out for a candle-light vigil to mourn the little girl ground brutally murdered
Searching: Police executed a search warrant on the girl’s parents’ home on Tuesday morning. The house is located about a mile and a half from where the body was found
‘She seemed smarter than the average (child her age), just because of the questions she’d always ask,’ neighbor John Janus told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
‘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.’
Mr Janus said he took his children with Alanna and her father on Halloween for the last few years.
According to his Facebook page, Alanna’s father Karl Gallagher graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and works as an engineer for a defense contractor. He posted dozens of pictures of his three children on his Facebook page.
‘She was a precious little girl. I usually just saw her on her scooter,’ neighbor Kay Stief told the Dallas Morning News.
Many neighbors say they often saw her playing alone – either in her yard or on the neighborhood streets near her house. However, in the quiet suburban neighborhood, they said they usually didn’t think too much of it.
Police and the FBI searched the girl’s home for several hours on Tuesday, carrying out boxes of documents and computers.
This aerial image shows the tarp where the girl’s body was found, lower right corner, in the middle of a quiet intersection
Murder: The FBI has joined the investigation after the horrifying discovery. No children from the area have been reported missing, so the case starts with few leads
FBI agents combed the area searching for evidence. The body was dumped in a conspicuous spot in a suburban neighborhood in Saginaw
A police spokesman said they were interviewing the parents – though at they moment they were only trying to confirm the timeline of when the girl was abducted from her home.
The girl’s body was found about 7.30pm on Monday by 14-year-old Owen Whiddon, who was riding his scooter through his neighborhood in Saginaw – about a mile and a half from where the girl lived.
He said he saw a tarp in the middle of an intersection, tightly rapped with a belt.
‘I said, “Well, let’s pick it up, let’s put it in the trash can,” you know, because we’re a clean community,’ he told the Morning News.
What he found shocked him to his core. He ran back home and told his mother: ‘Mom, it’s a little girl.’
Whiddon’s friend Josh Smith, 18, told KXAS-TV that he is will never be the same after seeing the girl dead.
‘At first, I just thought it was some rubber stuff at first, and then I got a closer look and all I saw was a bag and I saw some hair sticking out and so, I was like, “Oh my God! It’s a girl!”‘ he said.
‘And that’s when I dropped to my knees and just started crying.’
The girl’s body was found in Saginaw, Texas, a city of 20,000 outside Forth Worth
Coping: Neighbors quickly set up a makeshift memorial on the curb for the little girl, whose identity remains a mystery
Katie Whiddon, Owen’s mother, told KTVT-TV that she didn’t believe her son at first. When he convinced her he was telling the truth, she called 911.
‘I was panicking. I was freaked out. How can somebody hurt a little girl?’ she said.
Ms Whiddon told KDFW-TV that the girl was naked except for a bear of purple underwear and her hands and feet were bound. She had a plastic grocery bag over her head.
Police say they are still not sure when the girl’s body was dumped. Some neighbors said they noticed the tarp in the road about noon. Others say they didn’t see it until about 7pm.
Neighbors said her father started looking for her about 9pm Tuesday – an hour and a half after he body was found. They recalled him going door-to-door asking if anyone had seen his daughter.
‘You could tell on his face, he didn’t know what to do,’ Mr Janus, the neighbor, told the Star-Telegram.
‘It was like he was in shock and that he didn’t know where else to look.’
Another neighbor, Derinda, told the Morning News that she saw Alanna’s mother around that time, too. The neighbor said she didn’t seem very worried about her daughter.
Derinda recalls the mother saying: ‘I bet she’s over at a neighbor’s home. She always does this.’
About 9.15pm, Mr Janus said he saw Alanna’s father walk over to two police cruisers that had parked on his street. He believes that is when the parents reported their young daughter missing.
Alanna’s two other siblings are staying with family friends while their parents are being questioned by police.
Neighbors say they noticed a red pickup truck with a green splotch on the rear passenger-side panel in the neighborhood shortly before the body was found.
Investigators believe the driver may have something to do with the body and have asked anyone with information about the truck to come forward.