Kidnapped girl, 12, chewed through restraints to escape mom's boyfriend who killed her family, prosecutors say

·3 min read
Sheriff Jimmy Abbot speaking at a press conference on August 3, 2022, after a 12-year-old kidnapped girl escaped and led officers to two corpses
Sheriff Jimmy Abbot speaking at a press conference on August 3, 2022.WSFA
  • A 12-year-old kidnap victim chewed through restraints to escape her mom's partner, per court documents.

  • Prosecutors say Jose Paulino Pascual Reyes held her captive for a week after killing her mom and brother.

  • The girl was plied with alcohol in order to be sexually abused, the documents say.

A 12-year-old girl escaped a kidnapping by chewing through her restraints and leading police back to the crime scene, Alabama prosecutors said.

The girl, who has not been named, was found walking along a highway in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, at around 8 a.m. on Monday by a motorist who called 911, Sheriff Jimmy Abbett told a Tuesday press conference.

At the girl's home, investigating officers found the mutilated bodies of her mother, 29-year-old Sandra Vazquez Ceia, and a person believed to be the girl's brother.

Prosecutors charged the boyfriend of the girl's mother with the kidnap and killings. In a phone interview with Insider, Abbett said that the suspect, 37-year-old Jose Paulino Pascual Reyes, was not known to them beforehand.

The allegations are reminiscent of other extreme domestic violence cases that gripped America, like that of Colorado man Chris Watts who was convicted of the 2018 murders of his wife and two daughters. Almost all perpetrators in what researchers call "familicide" are men, a 2019 review of 67 studies found.

Both bodies had been cut into small pieces in order to hide the evidence, according to court documents seen by Insider.

Pascual Reyes was charged on Tuesday with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and three counts of capital murder, Abbett told Insider.

The reasons for there being three murder charges is that Alabama law adds an extra charge for any victim under 14 years old, he said.

Pascual Reyes killed the boy by "bludgeoning" him "with hands and feet," while he smothered Vazquez Ceia with a pillow, the documents said.

The crime-scene investigation finished up on Wednesday, and autopsies were under way as of Thursday, to confirm the identity of the boy, Abbett said.

Pascual-Reyes had kept the 12-year-old girl drugged with alcohol for around a week, and bound her to the bedposts with the intention of sexually abusing her and physically hurting her, the documents alleged.

"Victim further had broken braces from chewing out of her restraints," said the report.

Sheriffs tracked Pascual-Reyes down at his workplace, a construction site in Auburn, Alabama, around 25 miles from his home, Abbett told Insider.

The family moved to the area in February, according to Abbett.

"We had not received any complaints or anything from him, or her, or any of the children," Abbett said. Investigators are treating it as a domestic abuse case, he said.

The girl, who is now in the care of the Alabama Department of Human Resources, is "doing well — remarkable," Abbett told Insider, saying she had no major injuries.

"To me, she's a hero, for what she went through and for what she's enduring now, and then what she'll endure for her life."

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