Prosecutors: Man Admits Killing Girlfriend, Her Son in Tallapoosa County

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Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes/Source: Tallapoosa County Jail

Prosecutors say a man charged with capital murder in the deaths of his live-in girlfriend and her son in Tallapoosa County has admitted killing the two.

José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, gave self-incriminating information about the deaths of Sandra Vazquez Ceja, 29, and her juvenile son in more than one statement, Tallapoosa County authorities said in a court document filed Tuesday. They’re asking a judge to order him to provide a DNA sample for comparison with evidence found at a mobile home south of Dadeville where hacked-up body parts were found in August.

Alabama News Network was in court Wednesday when District Judge Clayton Kim Taylor bound the case over to a Grand Jury for consideration after finding probable cause in the case.


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Crime scene tape at mobile home on County Road 34 in Tallapoosa County – Photo from Alabama News Network

Authorities say the dismembered bodies were discovered after a 12-year-old girl escaped captivity at the mobile home. She was the daughter of the woman who was killed.

Defense attorneys appointed to represent Pascual-Reyes did not immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

Pascual-Reyes has yet to enter a plea. He is being held without bond on charges including capital murder, kidnapping and corpse abuse.

He could be sentenced to death if convicted.

Authorities found remains of the two after a girl escaped the mobile home where investigators said she was held against her will for days at the same location where her mother and brother were killed and dismembered. A motorist stopped along Tallapoosa County Road 34 to pick her up, leading to a search of the home where she’d lived with her mother, brother and Pascual-Reyes, police said.

The girl was taken captive in the mobile home around the time of the killings, authorities have said.

Reyes, who is from Mexico, was in the country illegally after being deported and returning without proper documentation, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett has said. The man speaks Spanish and needs an interpreter to understand court proceedings, the defense said in a request that was approved by a judge.

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