12 yearsIn a mobile home with what turned out to be the decomposing and dismembered remains of her mother and brother, they provided key information Authorities said Thursday.
The girl who bit the handcuffs to escape the house while the man was away “is a heroine who survived the accident and to bring the information she gave us in order to charge him,” Talappuzha County Mayor Jimmy Abbott said.
Spotted by a passerby along a country road after her escape on Monday, she is now safely in the custody of state child care officials. Authorities said her braces were damaged by chewing and marks on her wrist indicated that she was restrained.
In court documents, authorities said the girl had been assaulted and had drank alcohol to keep her dazed, so she ran away after chewing the ties she held on the bed.
Jose Paulino Pascual Reyes, 37, has been charged with kidnapping and multiple counts of premeditated murder in the killing of what authorities said was the 29-year-old’s mother and son, who court records show was 14 years younger.
“They were boyfriend and girlfriend,” Abett said of Pascual Reyes and the girl’s mother. “They were actually living there all together.”
Abett pointed out that the kidnapping charge alleges that the girl was held hostage against her will, not that she was physically kidnapped from another place and taken home.
The girl was captured on July 24 at the time her mother and brother were killed, authorities alleged, and police found two dismembered bodies in the caravan after the child ran away Monday morning. Abit declined to comment on whether the girl knew the fate of her mother and brother while she was still a hostage, but the dismembered remains were found inside the house.
Pascual Reyes was arrested Monday night while working on a construction site in Auburn, more than 20 miles from the motorhome. He is being held without proof.
Defense attorney Mark Carlton said he and another lawyer had just been hired to represent Pascual Reyes and declined to immediately comment, saying they had not yet had a chance to meet him.
Abt said Reyes, who is from Mexico, was in the country illegally after being deported and returned without proper documentation. Sheriff said it was not clear when he last entered the United States, but that the group had been living in a mobile home since February.
Sheriff said Sega and the two children entered the United States from Mexico in 2017 and remained there after seeking asylum, but that their applications were pending with immigration officials.
While a few people live near the caravan and others live in the home, there is no indication that anyone else was aware of the killings or that the girl was being held against her will, Abe said.
“No one has come forward with information,” he said.