A 12-year girl’s escape from her kidnapper in Alabama led police to discover two decomposing bodies on the suspect’s property.
Police have arrested and charged José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, with three counts of capital murder, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and first-degree kidnapping.
During a Tuesday news conference, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said police received a call from a driver on Monday, around 8:30 a.m. local time, about a girl walking along County Road 34 in Dadeville.
According to court documents, the girl was tied to bed posts for almost a week before she was able to chew through the restaurants and free herself.
During her time in captivity, the 12-year-old, who was not reported missing, was assaulted and given alcohol to keep her “in a drugged state.”
Abbett revealed police would not share whether the girl knew Pascual-Reyes until a later time. “It’s a fluid investigation,” he said. “Things are changing, and I don’t want to jeopardize the identification of our juvenile.”
Abbett noted that the girl is “safe now and … we want to keep her that way.”
Following the girl’s escape, police launched an investigation which led them to Pascual-Reyes’ mobile home, where they found two decomposing bodies.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is working to identify the remains and perform autopsies to determine the cause of death.
Along with the current criminal counts, Tallapoosa County District Attorney Jeremy Duerr revealed that Pascual-Reyes could face additional charges as the investigation unfolds.
“We’re looking at multiple counts of capital murder, along with kidnapping in the first degree,” Duerr said during a news conference.
“And of course, once we continue and finish our investigation, I feel certain that several more charges will follow.”
Pascual-Reyes is being held at the Tallapoosa County Jail pending a bond hearing.