A 25-year-old Burmese immigrant is facing first-degree murder and child kidnapping charges for having allegedly raped and killed the seven-year-old daughter of one of his neighbors.
Esar Met was arrested in early 2008, after Salt Lake City authorities found the body of young Hser Ner Moo in the shower of his basement apartment. Investigators ruled that Met had beaten and raped the young girl, before strangling her to death.
She was described as a happy, smart little girl who loved going to Sunday school, was quickly learning English and was a delight to family, friends and her teachers.
Burmese immigrant Esar Met is accused of brutally murdering and raping the seven-year-old daughter of one of his neighbors.
The body of little Hser Ner Moo was found dead in the shower of his basement apartment after she was beaten and raped and strangled to death
Now, four years after her murder, a preliminary hearing is being held to determine whether there is actually enough evidence to try Met for the murder.
Earlier this week, District Judge William Barrett heard testimonies from Moo's family, who are also Burmese immigrants, as well as Met’s roommates and friends, in an attempt to gain a clearer understanding of the circumstances surrounding the girl's death.
Based on the family’s description of the events, Moo went missing sometime in the afternoon, though no one seemed to know exactly when or why the girl left the apartment.
Moo’s brother, who was home at the time, testified that he had fallen asleep and when he awoke his sister was gone.
Likewise, Moo’s mother, Pearlly Wa, said she had no idea that her daughter had gone missing until she returned home from an afternoon dentist appointment.
'When I came back, I can’t find my daughter,' she said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 'She was missing.'
A preliminary hearing is currently being held to determine whether there is enough evidence to charge Met with the murder.
At that point, Wa said she desperately searched the apartment complex, before calling the family’s caseworker who then called the police.
Before her body was found parents and friends plastered the area with posters
The anguished mother said she didn't sleep at all that night, adding to the courtroom in halting English, 'My heart is burning.'
It wasn't until the following day that authorities discovered the girl's body.
At times, the hearing became quite emotional, especially when the family described their difficulties coping with the girl's death.
'Because of this loss, I thought I cry until I die,' Wa said during the hearing. 'My heart, I cannot control my heart.'
She now is on medication to deal with her depression.
Meanwhile, Moo's father revealed just how devastated he was without his daughter.'I’m always thinking about my little girl,' he said. 'Sometimes I cannot focus. I have to focus when I drive. Especially on the street, whenever I see this age of girl going to school or getting on the school bus, that really hurts my heart.'
During another portion of the hearing, the judge heard testimonies from Met's roommates and friends, which painted two differing pictures of the accused murderer.
Met's roommates described him as being a recluse who never ate with them and stayed largely in his basement apartment.
Meanwhile, Met's friend Maung Then Htank, whom he met in a refugee camp, called him an affable person who loved children.
The girl's devastated father (pictured) testified at the hearing and gave he and his wife's account of what happened the day their daughter was killed and the incredible agony they have suffered ever since
He testified that Met would act like an elephant and let Htank's sister ride on his back. He also said that the two of them played with Moo on a number of occasions.
Moo also apparently went to watch movies with Met on at least three occasions.
It is still unclear which of these description is in fact accurate.
But with the hearing is expected to continue for the next several days, more details regarding the case are likely to surface.
If the judge rules that Met should stand trial for this murder, he will face first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and child kidnapping.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2230317/Burmese-immigrant-strangled-raped-beat-neighbors-7-year-old-daughter-leaving-dead-body-floor-shower.html#ixzz2Bs5ETjrE