HOUSTON – An arrest has been made in the 2013 case of a young girl who was kidnapped, beaten and sexually assaulted in Cypress, deputies said Tuesday.
Levi Austin Goss, 24, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and aggravated kidnapping in the case, law enforcement sources told KPRC2.
The young girl was left for dead in a grassy area near a movie theater in the Cypress area on Feb. 5, 2013, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
Goss' place of residence is listed as Fayetteville, North Carolina, and he is a member of the military at Fort Bragg.
The Army sent KPRC2 a statement that read, "Private First Class Levi Goss, an All American Paratrooper, is in civilian confinement. He is under investigation by civilian law enforcement for an allegation that may predate his military service. We are cooperating with civilian law enforcement in this matter."
After the attack, DNA was collected from the victim and submitted into a database.
The case went cold until late last year.
On Dec. 12, 2017, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science received a database match from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory for a military offender listed as Goss, according to court documents.
Investigators said that match came after military police began investigating Goss in connection with a sexual assault and uploaded Goss' DNA profile to a nationwide database.
In January of this year, a photo of Goss was shown to a witness who spotted the suspect at a nearby gas station on the night of the crime, according to court documents.
The witness told investigators that the man entered with a gray shirt, went into the restroom for a long period of time, then left wearing a different shirt, court documents stated.
The next day, the man's gray shirt, which was covered in blood, was found in a trash can in the restroom, according to investigators.
Court documents state the witness identified Goss as the man seen in the gray shirt the night of the attack.
According to a spokesperson from Fort Bragg, Goss is a private first class who enlisted on Feb. 16, 2016. He is a parachute rigger in the 82nd Airborne. His home of record is Port Neches, Texas.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said a man grabbed a 16-year-old girl from behind and dragged her into a wooded area on Spring Cypress Road near Avenue D, about a mile east of the Northwest Freeway, about 11 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013. The girl was hit in the head with a blunt object several times, officials said.
Investigators said the girl thought the man intended to kill her, so she did something that may have saved her life.
"She acts as if she has died," Deputy Armando Tamez said at the time. "She doesn't move, doesn't flinch."
Her attacker apparently believed she was dead and walked away, investigators said.
After the attack, the girl, who was naked, managed to walk about a mile to a movie theater along Skinner Road near Spring Cypress.
The girl was rushed by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
About 11:40 p.m., the man suspected to have attacked the girl was spotted at a convenience store about a mile away from the scene, investigators said.
Deputies said a witness told them that the man went to the men's room and closed the door. He was wearing a blood-stained shirt when he went in, but left wearing a white, sleeveless muscle shirt, officials said. The witness said the man has scratches on his neck and face, detectives said.
Investigators said they found the shirt in a trashcan. Blood was smeared on the floor and walls in the restroom, sources said.