Kayla Gomez-Orozco went missing one year ago on Nov. 1

Published on Wednesday, 1 November 2017 13:00 - Written by Staff Reports

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It’s been one year since a little girl went missing from church, and whose tragic story touched the hearts of people across the nation.

Ten-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco went missing from the Bullard First Assembly Church on Nov. 1, 2016.

Over 600 people spent a Saturday combing through fields and tree-lined areas looking for the little girl, but the police ultimately found her days later deceased in a well on a family member’s property.

Kayla is remembered by her teachers, classmates and family as a beautiful soul - a sweet girl who smiled easily and often and who was a friend to everyone. 

Gustavo Zavala-Garcia is accused of killing Kayla. He was related to the girl by marriage and was reportedly among the last people to see her before she went missing from the church foyer.

His trial date is set for March 19, 2018.

It is unclear what exactly caused her death, and at the time the indictment was released, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham declined to comment - citing the restrictive and protective order in the case.

In the indictment, prosecutors contend Zavala-Garcia attacked Kayla and sexually assaulted or attempted to sexually assault her after her kidnapping. 

Prosecutors also contend he struck Kayla with and against a blunt object, asphyxiated her and drowned her.