DADEVILLE, Ala. — The escape of a kidnapped girl in Alabama led to the discovery of two decomposing bodies and the arrest of a man who now faces charges of murder and kidnapping, authorities said.
Police received a call Monday morning from a driver about a 12-year-old girl who was walking alone along County Road 34 in Dadeville, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said Tuesday at a news conference.
The girl was restrained to her bedposts for about a week, according to a criminal complaint. She was chewed out of her restraints – her braces broke – and her wrists show marks consistent with restraint, he says.
The 12-year-old was given alcohol to remain in a “drugged state” and was assaulted in the “head area,” the complaint states. She had not been reported missing, the sheriff said.
Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was arrested Monday about 25 miles away in Auburn on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping by U.S. Marshals and police, the sheriff said, adding that other agencies are also on the case.
While searching Pascual-Reyes’ home, detectives found two decomposing bodies, the sheriff said. A forensic team is working to identify the bodies, he said, and it is not immediately known how and when they died. The sheriff also said that “other people” lived in the residence ie. CNN reported. The sheriff did not say whether these people were being charged or held in connection with the alleged crimes at the residence.
Pascual-Reyes also faces three counts of capital murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse, Abbett said in a news release.
“We’re looking at multiple counts of capital murder, as well as kidnapping in the first degree,” Tallapoosa County District Attorney Jeremy Duerr said during the news conference. “And of course, once we continue and complete our investigation, I think there will definitely be some more charges.”
Pascual-Reyes is awaiting a bond hearing at the Tallapoosa County Jail, Abbett said. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
“To have this type of crime scene and also to have a 12-year-old to deal with this horrible situation is horrible,” Abbett said, calling the girl “a hero.”
Although the sheriff did not provide any details about when the girl may have been abducted or any possible relationship with Pascual-Reyes, he said she received medical care and was doing well.
“She’s safe now and … we want to keep her that way,” Abbett said.
Very CNN-Wire & 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.