The Story of Jocelyn Nungaray Feels Like Another Chapter of Hulu's 'Under the Bridge'

The mother of Jocelyn Nungary is prepared to fight for her daughter, who no longer has a voice.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 21 2024, Published 1:38 p.m. ET

Hulu's Under the Bridge series pushed the story of Reena Virk's death further into the world. Based on a book of the same name, it reveals the horrors that can exist in all kinds of relationships, including those between teenage girls. In November 1997, the body of 14-year-old Virk was discovered floating in the shallow waters of the Gorge Waterway in the Victoria Region of British Columbia. Her official cause of death was drowning but she had also been severely beaten moments before.

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Ultimately two teenagers would be convicted of her murder, though eight people total were involved in the initial assault. Over 25 years later, a similar story out of Houston, Texas has left a community feeling angry and confused. The life of another young girl has been taken. Her body was found near a bridge. What happened to Jocelyn Nungary? Here's what we know.

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What happened to Jocelyn Nungary?

Billie Jean Jackson told KHOU that she was devastated after discovering the body of a 12-year-old girl near a bridge on West Rankin Road around 6:00 a.m. on June 17, 2024. She initially thought the figure was a mannequin but upon closer inspection realized it was a child. "It broke my heart when I found out she was 12," said Jackson fighting back tears. "I was devastated. We have a 12-year-old granddaughter and it broke my heart." The young girl had been strangled.

The following day, Houston police released grainy video surveillance photos of two suspects. "The persons of interest are described only as two males of unknown age, wearing baseball style caps," said the statement. According to KPRC 2, the young girl was identified as Jocelyn Nungary and she was last seen by her mother June 16, around 10:00 p.m.

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Alexis Nungary told her daughter not to stay up too late then headed to bed, reported the outlet. She didn't realize Nungary, along with her cell phone, was gone until the next morning. She searched their neighborhood and was repeatedly pinging her daughter's phone which led the panicked mother to the creek where police were removing her body. An hour later, law enforcement called to confirm it was her daughter.

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Two suspects have been arrested.

Nungary's boyfriend told police that he last spoke with her on the phone while she was at a 7. He could hear her also speaking to two adult men in the background. It was their photos police circulated. Three days after Nungary was killed, these two men were apprehended by police. They have been identified as 26-year-old Johan Jose Rangel Martinez and 21-year-old Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, and have been charged with murder.

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Corley Peel of KPRC spoke with Nungary's mother after she heard about the arrests. Alexis told the reporter that it was a "relief to hear that they’ve been caught and, they’re off the streets and it feels great that, you know, everybody has been working so hard and so fast to to get justice for my girl." The young mother also said she did not recognize either of the suspects, who had both allegedly altered their appearances since they spoke with Nungary three days prior.

Neighbors also told the outlet they knew very little about either men, only that they had been living in the area for about a month. Alexis is ready to keep fighting for her daughter. "She doesn’t have a voice no more," she said. "So I have to be [an] advocate and, you know, be proud of me, of how strong I’ve been for her. I’ve always fought for her. And I will always fight for her."

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