What to know
- After being held captive for a week, the 12-year-old managed to escape by gnawing with a rope that bound her to her bed while her captor was away.
- Police found two dismembered bodies in the mobile home after the child escaped, the remains of her mother and brother.
- Police said the mother’s boyfriend has been arrested.
Authorities said on Thursday that a 12-year-old girl detained for a week in a mobile home with the remains of her mother and brother provided key information that led to her boyfriend’s arrest. cohabitation of women.
The girl, who gnawed at her restraint to escape from the mansion while the man was away, “is a hero for surviving the incident and continuing with the information she gave us to charged him,” Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said.
Discovered by a passerby along a country road after she fled Monday, the child is now safe in the custody of state child welfare officials. Authorities said in court documents that the girl was assaulted and doused with alcohol to keep herself from being stunned, the girl fled after pulling the ropes that bound her to the bed.
José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was charged with kidnapping and multiple counts of murder in the murders of the girl’s mother, Sandra Vazquez Ceja, 29, and her son, who court records show was younger. 14 years old.
“They were boyfriend and girlfriend,” Abbett said of Pascual-Reyes and Ceja, “They actually lived there together.”
The kidnapping allegation is that the girl was taken hostage against her will, not that she was kidnapped from elsewhere and brought home, Abbett said.
The girl was arrested on July 24 around the time her mother and brother were killed, authorities allege, and police found two fragmented bodies in the mobile home after the child escaped into the home. Monday morning. Abbett declined to comment on whether the girl knew the fate of her mother and brother while she was still a hostage, but chopped remains were found in the home.
Pascual-Reyes was arrested Monday night while working at a construction site in Auburn, more than 20 miles (32 km) from the mobile home. He is being held without bond. Two attorneys appointed to represent him did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on his behalf.
Reyes, from Mexico, was in the country illegally after being deported and returned without valid documentation, Abbett said. The sheriff said it’s unclear when he last entered the United States, but the group has been living in the mobile home since February.
Ceja and the two children entered the United States from Mexico in 2017 and stayed after applying for asylum, but their request has yet to be decided by immigration officials, the sheriff said.
While several others live near the mobile home and others have lived at the site, there is no indication that anyone else was aware of the murder or that the girl was being held against her will. himself, said Abbett.
“Nobody gave out information,” he said.