Gerardo Rodriguez during his arraignment on a murder charge earlier this month. 

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

The 15-year-old girl found dead in a Bakersfield garage Monday was strangled to death, the Kern County coroner's office said Friday.

Prosecutors have charged Gerardo Rodriguez, 23, with killing the teenager, Stacy Duke of Bakersfield, during a rape or attempted rape.

Rodriguez was detained and arrested at the scene where Duke's body was found at the 3000 block of Dore Drive.

A coroner's news release said she died from manual strangulation and the place of death was where she was found at 5:44 p.m.

Rodriguez could face the death penalty if convicted. His arraignment will be held next week. He remains held without bail.

Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at (661) 395-7368. Follow her on Twitter via @TBCCityBeat.

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