A young girl chewed through restraints to escape a rural Alabama home where investigators later found two decomposing bodies, authorities said.
José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, is facing kidnapping charges and multiple counts of capital murder in connection to the bodies found at the home after a 12-year-old girl was discovered walking along a roadside early Monday in Dadeville.
Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett told reporters at a press conference that a driver picked up the girl and called 911 — setting off an investigation that led to Pascual-Reyes’ arrest and the gruesome discovery, AL.com reported.
Pascual-Reyes, who remains jailed pending a bond hearing, was arrested in Auburn. The bodies were found in his Dadeville home, not far from where the girl was discovered wandering alone.
The decomposing remains have been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to be identified, Abbett said, adding it’s unclear how long they had been there.
“It’s a fluid investigation,” the sheriff told reporters. “Things are changing, and I don’t want to jeopardize the identification of our juvenile.”
Court filings obtained by WSFA show the girl had been tied to bedposts for nearly a week. She was assaulted and plied with alcohol, but managed to escape by chewing through her restraints, the documents show.
Authorities did not indicate whether the girl knew Pascual-Reyes, AL.com reported.
“I would say she’s a hero,” Abbett said. “It’s one of those things we won’t get into until later. We gave her medical attention. She is safe now. We want to keep her that way.”
Pascual-Reyes had lived at the home since February, Abbett said. Other people were there where cops arrived, but he did not elaborate, AL.com reported.
“It’s horrendous to have a crime scene of this nature,” the sheriff told reporters Tuesday.