According to Alabama law enforcement authorities, a 12-year-old girl chewed through her restraints to escape the home where she was being held captive and then led police back to the home where they found two dead bodies!
During a press conference after the dramatic escape and subsequent events, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said a driver alerted authorities after spotting the girl walking along a rural road in Dadeville, Ala., on the morning of Monday, Aug.1.
Responding deputies provided medical treatment to the girl, who then directed them to the mobile home, where she was allegedly held against her will.
Upon investigation, two dead bodies were found at the scene, Abbett said.
The identities of the dead bodies are also being withheld.
According to court documents obtained by local affiliate WFSA-TV, leading up to her escape, the girl was allegedly tied to a bed post for a week and kept intoxicated with drugs and alcohol. She managed to chew through her restraints and free herself, the station reports.
At the home, authorities arrested 37-year-old Jose Pascual-Reyes, according to the sheriff. Pascua-Reyes faces one count of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of capital murder, and two counts of abuse of a corpse.
While Abbett said the investigation is still in the early stages and remains very fluid, he hailed the girl – who was not considered a missing person – “a hero.”
“She’s safe now,” Abbett told reporters. “And we want to keep her that way.”
Investigators believe Pascual-Reyes had lived at the home since February 2022. It was unclear how long the girl was allegedly held captive there. The sheriff said other people lived at the residence, but he would not elaborate. He also refused to disclose the relationship – if any – between the victim and the suspect.
Pascual-Reyes is being held at the Tallapoosa County Jail pending a bond hearing. It wasn’t immediately clear if he retained an attorney or entered a plea to the charges.
The FBI is assisting with the investigation. This is a developing story.