(CNN) — The escape of a kidnapped girl in Alabama led to the discovery of two decomposing bodies and the arrest of a man now facing murder and kidnapping charges, authorities said.
Police received a call Monday morning from a driver about a 12-year-old girl walking alone on County Road 34 in Dadeville, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said at a news conference Tuesday.
The girl had been tied to bedposts for about a week, according to a criminal complaint. She bit into the restraints — breaking her brackets — and her wrists show marks consistent with the restraint, she claims.
The 12-year-old girl had been given alcohol to remain in a drugged state and was assaulted in the “head area,” the complaint says. The girl had been reported missing, the sheriff said.
Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was arrested Monday about 25 miles away in Auburn on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping by US Marshalls and police, the sheriff said, adding that other agencies are also on the lookout. the case.
While searching Pascual-Reyes’ home, detectives found two decomposed bodies, the sheriff said. A forensic team is working to identify the bodies, he said, and it was not immediately known how and when they died. The sheriff further stated that “other people” lived at the residence. The sheriff did not say if these people were being charged or arrested in connection with the alleged crimes at the residence.
Pascual-Reyes also faces three counts of capital murder and two counts of abuse of a corpse, Abbett said in a news release.
“We are looking at multiple counts of capital murder, in addition to first-degree kidnapping,” Tallapoosa County District Attorney Jeremy Duerr said during the news conference. “And of course, once we continue and finish our investigation, I’m sure several more charges will follow.”
Pascual-Reyes had a bond hearing at the Tallapoosa County Jail on Wednesday afternoon and is being held without bond, according to Abbett, who said an attorney was appointed. CNN has reached out to the public defender’s office for comment.
“It’s horrendous to have a crime scene of this nature and also a child under 12 to deal with this horrendous situation,” Abbett said, calling the girl “a hero.”
While the sheriff did not elaborate on when the girl may have been abducted or any possible connection to Pascual-Reyes, he did say she had received medical attention and was doing well.
“She’s safe now and… we want to keep her that way,” Abbett said.
The girl, who has been appointed an attorney, is now with the Alabama Department of Human Resources, according to the sheriff, who said he checked on the girl on Wednesday.
“He’s doing as well as can be expected considering the circumstances,” Abbett said.