Horror story nears a grim conclusion

Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antonio Express-News Staff

Updated 10:15 p.m., Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maybe the little girl had wet her pants and was hiding, a babysitter thought.

The sitter's mind raced as she searched for the 7-year-old after finding her tiny green shorts on the floor of a West Side apartment. She checked the girl's usual hiding spots — inside closets, behind trash bins in the parking lot.

Half an hour after Alyssa Maria Vasquez was reported missing, police found her body in tall grass behind a meat market next door. Naked from the waist down, her legs were splayed and her face was swollen, scratched and bruised. She'd been raped and strangled.

On Wednesday, 12 years later, Guadalupe Esparza is set to be executed for the crimes, pending a clemency petition before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

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