Tallapoosa County, AL – A heroic 12-year-old kidnapped girl managed to chew through her restraints and escape from her abductor before leading police to two decomposing bodies on Monday, according to police.
Investigators said the little girl was kidnapped on or about July 24 and that the suspect, 37-year-old Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, intended to sexually abuse her or inflict physical injury upon her, WRBL reported.
They said she was tied to bed posts inside a mobile home just south of Dadeville in a rural area of County Road 34 for more than a week.
Her abductor gave her alcohol to keep her in a drugged state, according to police.
Investigators said she managed to escape by chewing through her restraints, causing damage to the braces on her teeth, CBS News reported.
She had not been reported as missing, according to WRBL.
The investigation into the kidnapping began on Aug. 1, when a motorist spotted the girl walking down CR 34 at approximately 8:30 a.m., Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said on Tuesday.
The motorist stopped to check on her and then called 911.
According to court documents, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) deputies saw injuries to her wrists when they arrived at the scene and believed they indicated she had been tied up, WRBL reported.
She was immediately transported to an area hospital for medical attention.
“She is safe now, and so we want to keep her that way,” Sheriff Abbett said.
The investigation led police to Pascual-Reyes’ mobile home, where police wound up finding two decomposing bodies inside, CBS News reported.
It was unclear how long they had been there.
Their identities were not immediately released, nor were their causes of death.
The corpses were transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for identification and autopsies, WSFA reported.
Sheriff Abbett said other people also lived at the home, but that no one was there when deputies arrived, according to CBS News.
Investigators appeared to be focusing their attention on the ground beneath torn-off sections of the mobile home’s metal skirting on Monday, WRBL reported.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are also participating in the ongoing investigation.
Sheriff Abbett did not specify what information the little girl provided to investigators, but he said she is a hero, CBS News reported.
Investigators did not release any information regarding any potential relationship between the victim and Pascual-Reyes or between her and the deceased individuals found in the home.
Pascual-Reyes was apprehended by the Auburn Police Department (APD) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) in Auburn, WSFA reported.
He has been charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of abuse with a corpse, and one count of first-degree kidnapping.
Prosecutors said they expect more charges to be added as the investigation continues.