Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes from Alabama Kidnaps 12-Year-Old Who Escapes, Leads Police to Bodies of Mother and Brother

Photo: Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office

The suspect in the heinous kidnapping and double murder on County Road 34 was not supposed to be in the country. Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes has been accused of three counts of capital murder for killing Sandra Vazquez Ceja’s son, who was under 14, and kidnapping Ceja’s 12-year-old daughter, who escaped Monday morning. After chewing through her restraints, the girl alerted cops to the decomposing bodies of his girlfriend and her son. The illegal immigrant was charged with kidnapping and murder.

Pascual-Reyes had drugged the girl and tied her to a bedpost for a week, and she had only escaped by chewing through her restraints, damaging her braces. At 8.30 a.m. on Monday, a driver spotted the girl wandering on 3547 County Road 34 and called 911. Authorities did not say whether the two knew each other or how she was abducted.

According to Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett , the girl was not considered missing at the time the passerby discovered her, and she escaped while Pascual-Reyes was working on a construction site in Auburn.

After state, local, and federal investigators worked to identify him, Reyes was arrested by State Marshals and the Auburn Police Department and taken to the Tallapoosa County Jail. Officers were led to Pascual-Reyes’ mobile home, where they discovered the bodies of Ceja and her son. Sheriff Abbett praised the tortured girl as a “hero,” saying she was doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

Pascual-Reyes was an illegal immigrant, an unlawful foreign national deported to Mexico in 2014 and then returned to the United States, Sheriff Abbett said. According to the information investigators have, Reyes and Ceja have been living in the mobile home on County Road 34 since February and are in a “boyfriend/girlfriend relationship,” according to Abbett. Their situation was pending parole and an asylum claim.

The 12-year-old is in the custody of the Alabama Department of Human Resources and is not injured or in danger. She is mentally shaken and the authorities will help her deal with the traumatic experience he had.

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