It’s not often when someone is kidnapped that they escape on their own and live to tell the tale. This 12-year-old little girl, however, did just that. She successfully escaped her captor by chewing through her restraints, breaking her braces in the process. This is her story.
12-Year-Old Kidnapped Girl Escapes By Chewing Through Her Restraints
On August 1st, the driver of a passing vehicle noticed a 12-year-old girl walking by herself on an Alabama road. The road was near the trailer park where she lived with her mother and older brother. The little girl had marks on her wrists and her braces were broken. The reason for all of this, it turns out, is because she was a victim of one of the most horrific crimes Tallapoosa county Sheriff Jimmy Abbett has seen in his entire career. The little girl was kidnapped on July 24th by 37-year-old Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, her mother’s boyfriend. She spent over a week in captivity before she managed to escape. The story only gets more gruesome from there. (1)
The kidnapped girl, whose identity has not been revealed, spent over a week tied by her wrists to some bed posts and drugged with alcohol. The police department believes the intent of the suspect was sexual harm and abuse. She managed to escape her restraints, however, by chewing through them. She broke her orthodontic braces in the process. There were also notable marks on her wrists indicating that someone had forcibly restrained her.
The Police arrested Reyes at a construction site 30 km from the motor home on charges of first-degree kidnapping. They then investigated the home that they believe at least the little girl and Reyes shared.. Their investigation of the home, however, revealed that there were many more layers to this crime. There, in the mobile home, police found two decomposing bodies. (2)
A Family Connection
It wasn’t immediately clear to whom those bodies belonged. The police sent them to forensics to identify them. They then identified that the bodies belonged to the little girl’s mother and Reyes’s girlfriend, 34-year-old Sandra Vazquez Ceja, and her 14-year-old brother. There were apparently others who were living in the home, but we don’t yet know if they knew of the situation or not.
The murders are horribly gruesome. The investigation reveals that Reyes smothered Ceja with a pillow before then cutting her body up into pieces in order to “hide the evidence”. Though similarly, Reyes cut up the boy’s body into pieces, again in an effort to hide the evidence, he killed him in a different way. Rather, he beat the boy to death, striking him with his hands and feet.
Since this discovery, the police have charged Reyes with charges in addition to that of the first-degree kidnapping. They have now charged him with two accounts of capital murder, as well as abusing a corpse.
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More About The Family and Their Killer
We now know that Reyes was allegedly the boyfriend of Ceja. He had no biological connection to the two children, however, they were all living in the same mobile home in Tallapoosa Country, Alabama. Police have claimed that Reyes was actually an illegal immigrant to the country. The authorities had already deported him back to Mexico, however, they were uncertain as to when he had reentered the United States.
The girl’s mother and former girlfriend to Reyes were also from Mexico. She had come to the United States in 2017 with her children seeking asylum. The family was still waiting for their status claim to be approved by the United States government. The Ceja family and Reyes were all living together in the mobile home. There were allegedly other people also sharing the home. As already mentioned, there has been no indication as to whether or not those other residents knew that Reyes was confining the little girl against her will and that he had killed her mother and brother.
Sheriff Abbett is calling the little girl a hero. He says that the information she provided them has helped them successfully arrest Reyes and learn more information about his crimes. He also praised the person who stopped when they saw the girl walking by herself on the side of the road. Because of that person’s actions, the little girl is now safe and receiving both physical care and mental health care.
“We try to preach this, if you see something you need to say something,” said Sheriff Abett. “You don’t need to go down the road and say, ‘What should I have done’ and then you find out this happened — because I’m sure that there’s more motorist who passed her that day.”
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