Aug. 3 (UPI) — A kidnapped 12-year-old girl is being called a hero after she chewed through her restraints to escape a week of captivity in Alabama, according to investigators.
The girl was found walking along a rural road near Dadeville Monday before leading authorities back to the mobile home where they discovered two decomposing bodies.
The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday they had arrested Jose Pascual-Reyes. The 37-year-old has been charged with kidnapping, two counts of murder and two counts of corpse abuse.
According to criminal complaints filed Wednesday, Pascual-Reyes is accused of killing Sandra Vazquez Ceja, 34, by smothering her with a pillow. He is also accused of dismembering her body “in order to hide evidence,” the documents said.
A boy, under the age of 14, was also found dead. It is not clear if Ceja or the boy were related to the kidnapped girl.
The complaint said the kidnapping and murders happened on July 24 to “violate or abuse sexually and did so by restraining the victim…. to bed posts for one week.”
Court documents also said the girl was given alcohol to keep her in a “drugged state.”
The girl managed to break free Monday and “had broken braces from chewing out of her restraints,” according to the documents which also stated “deputies observed marks on the victim’s wrists indicative of being restrained.”
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are helping local agencies with the investigation.
“It was not a random abduction,” Kevin Hall, an assistant district attorney for Tallapoosa County told the New York Times. “As far as the nature of the relationship, I don’t think I can get into that yet.”
Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett held a news conference Tuesday. He said the girl had not been reported missing and said she is “doing well” in state custody.
“She’s a hero,” Abbett said. “She’s safe and we want to keep her that way.”