Kidnapped girl escapes in Alabama; find two bodies

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A 12-year-old girl held captive in a rural Alabama home escaped and was found walking on the side of the road, sparking an investigation that led police to the discovery of two decomposed bodies. at the house where the minor had been held, authorities reported Tuesday.

Jose Paulino Pascual Reyes, 37, was taken into custody on a kidnapping charge, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said at a news conference. District Attorney Jeremy Duerr said “multiple” additional capital murder charges were likely to be filed.

A motorist driving through a rural residential area saw a girl on the side of the road Monday morning and pulled over, authorities said. Court records indicate the minor had been drugged and tied up, but she managed to escape, according to WSFA-TV.

The driver picked up the girl and called the 911 emergency number, prompting an investigation and search that led police officers to the discovery of two decomposing bodies inside the residence where Pascual Reyes lived and where it was believed that the girl had been held, Abbett said. Other people lived in the residence, but no one else was there when police arrived, she said.

The man was arrested in Auburn, Abbett said. It is currently unknown what information the minor may have provided to authorities, but Abbett described her as a hero.

Police did not immediately release the names of those killed or the cause of death, and court records did not list the name of an attorney who could speak on behalf of Pascual-Reyes.

Authorities did not release any information about the girl, including whether she was related to the suspect. She had not been reported missing, the police chief said.

“We gave him medical attention,” Abbett said. “She is safe now, and we want to keep her that way.”

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