DADEVILLE, Ala. Two decomposing bodies have been found after a kidnapped girl escaped in Alabama, and a man has been arrested and is now facing charges of murder and kidnapping, authorities said.
Police received a call from a motorist Monday morning about a 12-year-old girl walking alone on County Road 34 in Deville, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said at a news conference Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl was chained to the bedposts for about a week. She is said to have chewed off her restraints – breaking her braces – and her wrists show signs of restraint.
The complaint alleges that the 12-year-old was given alcohol to keep him “drugged” and was assaulted “in the head area.” She had not been reported missing, the sheriff said.
Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was arrested Monday about 40 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 involved in the case.
While searching Pascual-Reyes’ home, detectives found two decomposed bodies, the sheriff said. A forensics team is working to identify the bodies, he said, and how and when they died was not immediately known. The sheriff also stated that there were “other people” living at the residence. CNN reported. The sheriff did not say whether the people had been charged or were being held for alleged crimes at the residence.
Pascual-Reyes also faces three counts of murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse, Abbett said in a news release.
“We are looking into multiple murder charges as well as first degree kidnapping,” Tallapoosa County District Attorney Jeremy Duer said at a press conference. “And, of course, as we continue and complete the investigation, I’m sure more charges will be filed.”
Pascual-Reyes is awaiting arraignment in the Tallapoosa County Jail, Abbett said. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
“It’s terrible that this type of crime scene and a 12-year-old minor is dealing with this horrible situation,” said Abbett, who called the girl a “hero.”
While the sheriff did not provide any details on when the girl may have been abducted or any possible relationship with Pascual-Reyes, he said she received medical attention and is doing well.
“She’s safe now and … we want to keep her that way,” Abbett said.
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