illegal aliens texas murder child
© Harris County JailIllegal aliens Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, left, and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez have been charged in the killing of Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston, Texas, on Monday, June 17.
The Houston Police Department said the cause of Nungaray's death was strangulation. The AP didn't tell readers that the suspects are illegal aliens.

Prominent social media users blasted the Associated Press for a report that failed to mention that the two men suspected of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl were illegal immigrants.

The AP's report that two Hispanic men were arrested on Thursday for the murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston said nothing about the fact the suspects were illegal immigrants from Venezuela who crossed over the U.S. southern border in March.

"This is not journalism. And hundreds of smaller outlets will run this word-for-word," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, posted to X after seeing the story.

Police arrested the two illegal immigrants Thursday after surveillance footage revealed they were with Nungaray before her body was found in a Houston creek that Monday.

The two men "lured" her under a bridge in Houston before tying her up and killing her, prosecutors allege in new court documents obtained by Fox News.

In AP's version of the story, headlined "2 men arrested in strangulation of 12-year-old Houston girl whose body was found in a creek," the outlet didn't describe the two murder suspects beyond giving their names and ages.

It stated, "Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, and Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, each face a charge of capital murder in the killing of Jocelyn Nungaray, police said. The medical examiner has determined that her cause of death was strangulation."

It further mentioned that the two men were "roommates."

However, the same day of their arrest, Fox News reported that the two suspects from Venezuela had entered the U.S. illegally before being released from custody, news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the next day.

The AP story has not been updated to reflect that Martinez and Ramos were in the country illegally.

The omission sparked a furor among conservatives and other media critics.

Sen. Cruz also commented, "@ap is fundamentally dishonest. '2 men' Entire story doesn't mention that the murderers were ILLEGAL ALIENS."

Conservative attorney Harmeet Dhillon corrected the story, commenting, "Two illegal aliens from Venezuela, you mean."

The Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller posted a sarcastic question, writing, "Any other details we should be aware of or informed about here, AP?"

Fox News contributor Joe Concha stated, "Were these '2 men' in this country legally, AP? Might want to include that part about this horrific story."

Former Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller blasted both the Biden administration and the AP in how the outlet covered it, posting, "Biden freed two illegal aliens into America now charged with the most heinous and evil crime against a child. This is how the AP covers it. Shameless."

And GOP political strategist Chris LaCivita wrote, "rewrite: 2 illegal aliens arrested in strangulation of 12 -year-old Houston girl whose body was found in a creek."

The Associated Press did not immediately reply to Fox News Digital's request for comment.