27-year-old sentenced to 15 years in prison for abducting and sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Missing girl's family provided wrong suspect info, police say
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Two different men with the same name were identified as the suspect in an Amber Alert. Neither of them would be arrested, because they weren't tied to the case. So what are Missouri City police saying about the mistake?

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 27-year-old man was sentenced to prison after an 11-year-old girl was abducted, prompting a high-profile Amber Alert in July.

The video above is from a previous report.

On Wednesday, court records show Jose Abel Paniagua was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated sex assault of a child under 14 years old.

On July 22, officers with the Houston Police Department and FBI found Paniagua and the 11-year-old girl at a home that he shared with his family in the 7700 block of Avenue B.

The victim's grandmother said the 11-year-old met Paniagua on Discord, an instant-messaging app.

In an initial bulletin, Texas Department of Public Safety reported the child was taken by a 28-year-old named Daniel Diaz, but troopers later updated the information to include a different suspect with the same name.

Shortly after releasing a new flyer with a new Daniel Diaz, authorities learned that he also had nothing to do with the case, but did live next door to the suspect on Avenue B.

Once both individuals were ruled out in the case, police added that the vehicles described in earlier bulletins were not accurate as well.

Missouri City police then put out a surveillance video of the truck the girl left in. Fortunately, that truck was correctly connected to the actual suspect. Neighbors said the truck belongs to Paniagua's mother.

In a previous report, Missouri City Police Department's Chief Michael Berezin told ABC13 that his investigators were given the name "Daniel Diaz" by the victim's grandmother.

Berezin said the two men named Daniel Diaz should have been called "persons of interest," instead of "suspects."

RELATED: Missouri City police send out 2 wrong Amber Alerts before actual suspect was arrested