A child sex killer who hanged his five year-old victim from a metal bar with two pairs of socks must be put to death. A judge ruled Thursday that Alberto Garcia was not eligible to be spared execution for the July 2014 murder of Janaya Thompson in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Anyone sentenced to death in the state is automatically granted an appeal against that sentence, with Mississippi’s Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was ‘proportionate’ to Garcia’s crime, and in-line with other sentences handed out for similar offenses.

Garcia admitted Janaya’s murder in January 2017 after DNA evidence linked him to a sexual assault prosecutors said Janaya had suffered before her death. During a 2014 pre-trial hearing, Gulfport Police Detective Samuel Jewell shared horrific details of how his officers had discovered Janaya’s body in an empty trailer, saying: ‘We found Janaya Thompson with her back was against the west wall.

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‘She was hung with what we know now as two pairs of socks and that was attached to a metal bar in a small window attached to above the tub. She was suspended.’

The youngster was found a day after she went missing, and 12 hours after a massive search began to try and track her down. Garcia told investigators how Janaya’s stricken relatives had knocked on his door asking if he’d seen her, with the killer even joining in the search party despite knowing the youngster had died at his hands.

After his arrest, Garcia claimed he’d blacked out and was not sure what he might have done during that period. He later confessed a partial-involvement to the killing in a bid to avoid his mom having to hear the case against him in court, with 100 pieces of evidence collected by detectives helping seal the case against him.

Speaking a year after his daughter’s murder Janaya’s dad Jarmal Thompson told WLOX that he had therapy to try and help him cope with his grief, and that he continued to struggle with the dreadful circumstances of the little girl’s death.

He said: ‘I had my dark moments. Was she hungry? Why was she there? What was going on? What would make someone do something like that? It hurts me to think like that.

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‘It made me weak. It made me sick. There were days I couldn’t eat. Most of the time I wouldn’t talk. I box myself in. Just knowing the joy that I had in my daughter’s life, she made me a proud person.’

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