A 12-year-old girl was found on an Alabama road Monday morning, leading to the discovery of two decomposing bodies at a nearby home and the arrest of a man accused of kidnapping her, authorities said.
Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, also faces murder and other charges in the shooting of the child around 8:30 a.m. was found by a passerby, officials said Tuesday.
“I would say she’s a hero,” Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said at a news conference Tuesday.
Investigators later found two decomposed bodies at a home south of Dadeville, and Pascual-Reyes was arrested for first-degree kidnapping in Auburn, Abbett said.
The relationship between the girl and Pascual-Reyes and more information about the people whose bodies were found have not been released.
The girl was first contacted by the Sheriff’s Office on Monday when she was found by a passerby, Abbett said, and she was not considered missing.
NBC affiliate WSFA of Montgomery reported that the girl was bound and drugged with alcohol before she managed to escape, according to court documents.
District Attorney Jeremy Duerr said multiple murder charges will likely be filed in addition to the kidnapping charge.
“And of course, as we continue and complete the investigation, I’m sure there will be more charges filed,” Duerr said.
Pascual-Reyes was being held in jail Tuesday night. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney available to speak on his behalf.
The identities of the people found dead and the manner of their death were not released on Tuesday.
The girl received medical attention and was doing well, Abbett said.
“It’s safe now and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
Associated Press contributed.