Investigators are calling the girl who escaped early Monday morning a hero. They say the girl was restrained to bed posts inside the mobile home for more than a week and given alcohol to keep her in a drugged state. She escaped by chewing out of her restraints, damaging the braces on her teeth in the process, detectives say.
The man who lived at the mobile home, 37-year-old Jose Reyes, was arrested Monday, August 1, and charged with Kidnapping 1st Degree. Prosecutors expect to charge Reyes with two counts of Capital Murder, along with other charges, after their investigation revealed two decomposing bodies inside the residence.
Investigators believe the kidnapping occurred around July 24, with Reyes intending to inflict physical injury or sexual abuse. Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett will not say how Reyes knew the child or if the child was related to the two individuals found dead inside the home. Their identities and cause of death have yet to be released. The child was not reported missing by any relatives
Abbett declined to say if her family had been located or not.
Reyes was located Monday in the Auburn area by U.S. Marshalls and taken into custody. He remains behind bars in Tallapoosa County, on no bond, pending the additional charges.
The investigation began Monday when the sheriff says the girl was seen by a motorist as the child walked along County Road 34 away from the mobile home. The motorist called 911, deputies arrived, and the little girl received medical attention. Court documents indicate deputies observed marks on the victim’s wrists indicative of being restrained.
Multiple law enforcement agencies then began an investigation at the mobile home and that’s when the bodies were located. The metal underpinning of the mobile home was ripped off, and it looks like investigators focused their attention along the ground under the mobile home.
Tuesday, yellow crime scene tape still surrounded the mobile home. Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s investigators remained at the scene. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are also involved in the investigation.