Murder suspect arrested in Mexico nearly 11 years after 15-year-old's killing now in Ellis Co. Jail

A murder suspect is behind bars in Ellis County nearly 11 years after a 15-year-old girl was killed in Ennis.

29-year-old Jennifer Puente was booked into the Ellis County Jail on Feb. 10.

Jennifer Puente (Source: Ellis County Jail)

Puente is charged with murder and tampering/fabricating physical evidence in connection to the death of 15-year-old Moriah Gonzales.

On March 17, 2012, Gonzales' body was found burning in a field in Ennis.

Just days later, police issued a warrant for Puente's arrest, along with her boyfriend Joe Alvarado.

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Alvarado was arrested at a Grand Prairie motel, but Puente could not be found.

In 2016, investigators believed Puente had escaped to Mexico.

In October 2022, Puente was arrested in Mexico by Mexican authorities.

She was taken from Mexico back to Ellis County last week.

"For almost 11 years, many public officials worked tirelessly to find and arrest Puente so that my office could seek justice for Moriah Gonzales," said Ellis County and District Attorney Ann Montgomery.

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If convicted, Puente faces five to 99 years or life in prison on the murder charge and two to 20 years or probation for the tampering charge.

Puente, who was just 18 at the time of the murder, was said to be a friend of Gonzales.

Her boyfriend at the time, Joe Alvarado was sentenced to 34 years in prison for murder, plus 20 years for tampering with evidence in 2014.

Joe Alvarado (Source: Ellis County)

Alvarado testified that Puente stabbed Gonzales to death while they were on drugs.

He said he then helped his girlfriend take the body to the field in Ennis.

Alvarado agreed to testify against Puente as a part of his plea deal.