Wolf Howl True Crime Series: Chopped To Pieces

Madeline Moran, Editor-In-Chief & Features Editor

Welcome back to the latest addition of the Wolf Howl’s True Crime column!

In early August, José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, a 37-year-old man living in Alabama, was accused and charged with first-degree kidnapping, multiple counts of capital murder, and corpse abuse. The victims of the tragic murders were Sandra Vazquez Ceja and her son who was only identified by his initials. Ceja was the 29-year-old live-in girlfriend of Reyes. They had lived together in this mobile home since February of this year. Ceja was smothered with a pillow, her son however was hit and kicked to death. Both bodies were cut up into small pieces at their joints in an attempt to hide the evidence of the murders. Their chopped-up remains were found in the mobile home in which the murders occurred. 

Forced to stay in that very same mobile home, was Sandra Vazquez Ceja’s 12-year-old daughter, who is now safely in the custody of child welfare officials. Reyes was charged with the first-degree kidnapping of the young girl. She was not physically abducted and moved, she was however held, hostage. AP News released an article written by Jay Reeves that said, “the girl was restrained to bedposts for about a week so she could be sexually abused, according to a complaint filed in court by authorities.” She was continually given alcohol in order for her to remain in a “drugged state” and was assaulted in the head before her escape. 

According to Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett and other court documents, Reyes is originally from Mexico but was staying in America illegally after being deported and returning without the proper documentation. Ceja and her two children also entered the United States from Mexico. They came in 2017 seeking asylum, their claims have not been decided by immigration officials yet.

The 12-year-old girl escaped by chewing her way out of the restraints that she had been kept in while Reyes was away. Abbett said in an interview that the young girl“ “is a hero for surviving the incident and coming forward with the information that she provided us in order to charge him,” She was found at the side of the road and picked up by a driver who notified the authorities, prompting the investigation. 

When she was found, her braces were severely damaged by her chewing through the ropes and had marks on her wrists indicating her restraint. 

According to Abbett in an article by Fox 6 News, there were “a few other people live near the mobile home and others had lived at the residence, there’s no indication anyone else knew about the killings or that the girl was being held against her will.” Nobody has come forward with any new information since these events.