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‘They Came From Mexico’: Alabama Murder, Kidnapping Suspect Was In The US Illegally

Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Dept. Sheriff

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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UPDATE: This article’s headline and body has been updated to reflect confirmation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Pascual-Reyes was in the U.S. illegally after having been previously deported in 2014. 

The alleged kidnapper of a 12-year-old girl in Alabama was a previously deported illegal alien, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.

José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, who was arrested for alleged kidnapping in the first degree about 25 miles from Auburn, Alabama, was deported  in 2014 and is currently in the U.S. illegally, the ICE spokesperson told the DCNF. He has since been charged with three counts of capital murder, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett told the DCNF.

It is unclear when he returned to the U.S., according to the ICE spokesperson.

Authorities found the decomposed bodies of Sandra Vazquez Ceja and her son, 14, after searching the home located at the address, Abbett said. Pascual-Reyes, who was Vazquez Ceja’s boyfriend, was living at an address near where the young girl was found wandering the street Monday. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Number Of Illegals Rescued By Border Patrol Soars To Record Highs As The Biden Admin Declares The Border Is ‘Secure’)

Before she was found, the girl was tied to bed posts as she was assaulted and kept intoxicated with alcohol for almost a week, according to WSFA. She freed herself by chewing through the ties.

Vasquez Ceja and her two children were apprehended in 2017 and were classified as “parole pending asylum,” according to Abbett.

“He was previously removed from the United States,” Abbett told the DCNF. “They came from Mexico.”


“Yesterday we had a court hearing with a judge. He was provided attorneys with an interpreter,” Abbett said.

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