A 12-year-old girl who had been held captive was found Monday walking along a road in rural Alabama after escaping from a nearby house, leading authorities to the gruesome discovery of two decomposing bodies where she had been held.
The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that José Paulino Pascual-Ryes, 37, of Dadeville, Ala., had been arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, three counts of capital murder and two counts of corpse abuse.
It was unclear whether Mr Pascual-Reyes had a lawyer.
Jimmy Abbett, the Tallapoosa County Sheriff, said at a news conference that just before 8:30 a.m. Monday, a driver saw a girl walking along a road near 34 3547 County Road in Dadeville, Ala., and called 911.
Responding officers gave the girl medical treatment and began investigating, the sheriff said. When they entered the house, officials said, they found two decomposing bodies.
According to WSFA, a Montgomery TV station, according to court documents, the girl was tied to bedposts for nearly a week while she was assaulted and kept in a drugged state from the use of alcohol. The girl managed to free herself and escape by chewing through her shackles, the documents said.
Sheriff Abbett declined to provide details about when the girl was allegedly abducted, the relationship between her and Mr Pascual-Reyes or details about the two bodies, including identification and cause of death.
Authorities said the girl, who was not reported missing, “was doing well.”
“She’s a hero,” Sheriff Abbett said. “She’s safe and we’d like to keep it that way.”
Sheriff Abbett said he believed Mr Pascual-Reyes had been living in the house since February. He added that there were other people in the residence when authorities arrived, but the sheriff gave no further details.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, along with numerous local agencies, are assisting in the investigation.