On Monday, a motorist spotted the young girl wandering down a road in Dadeville, Alabama, and picked her up. Police said that she had been kidnapped, bound, and drugged.
She led police to the mobile home where she said she had been tied to a bed but managed to escape by chewing through her restraints.
At the home, police found two decomposing bodies they later identified as the child’s mother and her brother. The mother had been in a relationship with the suspect, who was identified as 37-year-old Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes.
On Friday, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to the Daily Caller that Pascual-Reyes was in the country illegally at the time of the alleged crime and that he had been previously deported to Mexico in 2014.
Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett also said that the victim, Sandra Vazquez Ceja, and her two children had been apprehended in 2017 and were classified as on “parole pending asylum.” They were awaiting an asylum hearing.
Pascual-Reyes was not the father of the two children. He is being held without bond and was charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of corpse abuse, and one count of kidnapping.
Arrest warrants indicated that investigators believed Pascual-Reyes smothered Ceja with a pillow and beat her son to death with his hands and feet. Their bodies were also cut into pieces hide the evidence of the crime, police said.
“She’s a very strong young lady,” Abbett said about the 12-year-old. “She’s a hero, she’s safe now.”
The girl was hospitalized and was doing well.
Here’s more about the insidious case:
12-year-old Alabama girl escapes captivity, leads police to 2 bodies resulting in arrest