Two decaying bodies were discovered in a rural Alabama residence after a 12-year-old girl being held captive at home managed to escape. Police launched an investigation after the 12-year-old girl was found walking along the road.
Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett told a news conference that José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was being detained in jail on a count of kidnapping. “Multiple” capital murder charges are expected, District Attorney Jeremy Duerr said.
The child was seen on the road Monday by a driver cruising through the rural area who spotted the child and called 911, authorities said. NBC affiliate WSFA-TV reported that although the child had been drugged and bound, she still managed to break free of her captors.
Abbett said the driver retrieved the child and called authorities, prompting an investigation that led to the discovery of the decaying bodies where Pascual-Reyes resided. The girl was believed to have been kept at the house. He said, the other people who lived at the residence were not home when police arrived.
Abbett said the man was taken into custody in Auburn. The young victim was called a hero, although it was unclear what information she provided to authorities.
Police did not release the names of the dead people or their cause of death. Court records did not provide a defense lawyer that could speak on behalf of the accused.
The records also did not release any information about the girl and whether she had a prior relationship with Pascual-Reyes. According to the sheriff, the child had not been reported missing.