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October 2, 2022

Hellish scene: Police allege Alabama murder suspect suffocated one victim, bludgeoned another before cutting them into tiny pieces

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 a woman and juvenile found dismembered inside the residence, authorities said Wednesday.

Already charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection with the girl’s mistreatment, José Paulino Pascual-Reyes also was charged with capital murder and corpse abuse in the deaths of a woman and a boy younger than 14 who were found inside the mobile home in the central Alabama town of Dadeville, according to Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett and court documents.

The woman, identified as Sandra Vazquez Ceja, was smothered with a pillow and the boy, identified only by initials, was hit and kicked to death, documents showed. Both bodies were cut into small pieces at the joints to hide evidence.

Authorities haven’t released information about the surviving girl, a possible motive or whether any of the victims and Pascual-Reyes were related, but Abbett said additional charges were possible.

Ceja, 29, used an address that matched the location of the mobile home when she received traffic tickets for speeding and driving without a license in April, court records showed.

The 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 following his arrest in Auburn, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Dadeville.

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. The two people were killed around the time of the alleged abduction, records show.

The girl 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 girl, who authorities said had not been reported missing, received medical attention and was placed in the custody of child welfare officials, said Abbett, who described her as a hero.

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