A man was arrested after a 12-year-old girl was held captive with the dismembered remains of her mother and brother.
The girl provided key information that led to the arrest of her mother’s cohabiting boyfriend, according to authorities in Alabama.
Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett described the boy as “a hero for surviving the accident and coming forward with the information he gave us to accuse him.”
The officials said it was discovered by a motorist driving down a country road when he saw the baby, he stopped and then called for help.
She was assaulted and given alcohol to numb her, authorities say in court documents, but she escaped from the mobile home after chewing on the laces that were used to keep her on the ground on a bed.
His alleged kidnapper, Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was charged with kidnapping and multiple counts of capital murder for the death of his mother, 29-year-old Sandra Vazquez Ceja, and brother, who according to court documents was younger than 14.
“They were engaged and engaged,” said Mr. Abbett of the defendant and Ms. Ceja. “They actually all lived there together.”
Authorities say the girl was taken prisoner on July 24, around the time her mother and brother were killed.
The sheriff declined to comment on whether the girl knew the fate of her mother and brother while he was still a hostage. Their remains were found inside the property.
Pascual-Reyes, from Mexico, was arrested Monday night while working on a construction site in Auburn, Alabama, more than 20 miles from the mobile home.
He was in the United States illegally after being previously deported and then returned without proper documentation.
The sheriff said it was unclear when he returned to the United States, but that the group had been living in the mobile home since February.
Ms. Ceja and her two children entered the United States from Mexico in 2017 and had applied for asylum, although their requests were yet to be decided, the sheriff added.