Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 30, 2024

Trump Calls Grieving Mother of Murdered Child Before Debate

In a poignant moment before a high-stakes debate, former President Donald Trump reached out to Alexis Nungaray, whose daughter Jocelyn had been murdered, allegedly by illegal immigrants.

Jocelyn Nungaray, a 12-year-old from Houston, was killed by two undocumented migrants, igniting a fierce debate on immigration between Trump and President Joe Biden that took place after the former president placed his call to the grieving mother as the Daily Mail reports.

The young girl's lifeless body was discovered on June 16 in a bayou near her home. She had been strangled, sparking a wave of grief and outrage within the community.

Trump's Unexpected Call to Grieving Mother

Less than half an hour before stepping onto the debate stage on Thursday, Trump made a condolence call to the young girl's mother. His act of reaching out added a deeply personal touch to the evening’s proceedings.

Family friend Victoria Galvan recounted the profound impact of the phone call to the New York Post. She described how Trump expressed his sorrow and promised to follow up with the family in the coming days. “He was like, 'I'm actually about to come on for a debate' … He gave his condolences, and he said that he would be reaching back out to her," Galvan shared. Suspects Arrested in Jocelyn's Murder

Authorities have arrested Johan Jose Martinez-Rangel, 22, and Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, 26, both Venezuelan nationals, in connection with the gruesome crime. Each suspect is currently held on a $10 million bond.

Trump referenced the tragic death during the debate, without naming Jocelyn directly, as a stark example of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He contended that these tragedies are emblematic of a larger problem facing the nation.

Franklin Jose Peña Ramos had been under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) surveillance with a GPS ankle monitor prior to his arrest. He had reportedly cut it off after crossing into the United States at El Paso, Texas.

Tragic Funeral and Lasting Grief

While speaking during the debate, Trump noted, “One of them, I just spoke to the mother. They just had a funeral for this girl. She's 12 years old. This is horrible what's taken place.” His words echoed the heartbreak and frustration felt by many.

The family's grief was eloquently captured in the lines of Jocelyn’s obituary, reflecting on the heartache and the enduring memory of their angel. A line from a Billie Eilish song underscored their pain: "Things fall apart and time breaks your heart."

Martinez-Rangel and Peña Ramos had both been released into the U.S. after being intercepted by border agents. Martínez-Rangel had entered the country on March 14, 2023, while Peña Ramos had stated his intent to reside with his cousin in Houston.

The debate between Trump and Biden focused heavily on immigration issues, made more poignant by the recent tragedy. Trump’s call to Jocelyn’s mother underscored the personal toll of the discussions.

Galvan emphasized, “He wanted to … say that he was praying for Alexis and that he's been thinking about her and he wanted to reach out. He said that he was going to reach out in a couple days to her … I mean, she was really … we were all shocked.”

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