A man accused of abducting a 12-year-old who escaped by chewing her way out of restraints after a week in captivity at a rural mobile home was charged with killing two people found dead inside the residence, authorities said Wednesday.
Already charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection with the child’s mistreatment, José Paulino Pascual-Reyes also was charged with capital murder in the deaths of the people who were found inside the mobile home in central Alabama, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said in an interview.
Authorities haven’t released information about the girl, the homicide victims, a cause of death or a possible motive, but Abbett said additional charges were possible.
“Forensics is doing their part today and we’re waiting on results from them,” he said.
Court records don’t include the name of a defense attorney who could speak on behalf of Pascual-Reyes, 37, who was being held in the Tallapoosa County Jail.
Abducted from an undisclosed location around July 24, the girl was restrained to bedposts for about a week so she could be sexually abused, according to a complaint filed in court by authorities. She was kept in a “drugged state” with alcohol and assaulted in the head before chewing her way out of the restraints, the document said.
With her braces damaged from the chewing and marks on her wrists indicating she’d been tied up, the girl was spotted on the road outside the mobile home on Monday morning, authorities said.
A driver picked up the girl and notified authorities, prompting an investigation and search that led to police officers discovering two decomposing bodies inside the mobile home where Pascual-Reyes lived and the girl was believed to be held, Abbett said. Other people lived at the residence, he said, but no one else was there when police arrived.
The metal underpinning of the mobile home was ripped off, according to CBS affiliate WRBL, and it appears investigators were focusing their attention along the ground under the mobile home.
The girl received medical attention and was placed in the custody of child welfare officials, said Abbett, who described her as a “hero.”
“She is safe now, and so we want to keep her that way,” Abbett said.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security were also involved in the investigation, WRBL reports.