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Neighbor arrested for allegedly slay 12-year-old girl

Posted at 6:20 AM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 06:20:25-04

NASHVILLE (WZTV/CNN) - Police announced an arrest in the brutal Aug. 10 murder of a 12-year-old girl inside her family's mobile home. 

Horrifying, disturbing - those are just some of the words neighbors use to describe the slaying of Yhoana Arteaga.

"It's heartbreaking. That's what it is, heartbreaking," Razi Aamar said. "I can't even process something like that."

Police said believe 45-year-old Roy Coons is responsible. He lived just two doors down from her at a Goodlettsville mobile home community, which is how he knew of her. 

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Metro Police said scientific analysis of DNA evidence is what led them to Coons, along with teamwork from detectives representing several agencies.

"I'm just so pleased with the diligent police work that so many parts of our police department came together to work so efficiently especially with the TBI so we can bring her killer to justice," Mayor Megan Barry said.

Coons was charged with several crimes, including first-degree murder, attempted rape of a child and aggravated burglary. 

In August, police said Yhoana died from brutal blunt-force trauma in her mobile home. "I've never seen anything this brutal in my entire career," Sgt. David Kautzman said.

Yhoana's last communication was with her mom. She texted her mom around 5:30 p.m. saying someone was knocking on the door, police spokesperson Don Aaron said. 

She had been at home on crutches that day after she was injured in a skating accident. 

Family members arrived home around 6:45 p.m. to find her dead.

Steven Weathersby lives behind the home Coons shared with his parents. He can't believe the news. 

"(Coons seemed to be a) real easy to talk to, nice guy. He would cut the grass down there, but it's hard to imagine," he said.

"Just getting the mobile home life, you don't know who your neighbors are," Adam Burlett said.

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