Sheriff: Tallapoosa Co. murder victims are suspect’s girlfriend, her son

Sandra Vazquez Ceja and her two children had been living with Jose Reyes since February 2022.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 2:48 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 3:55 PM CDT
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DADEVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) – The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office has identified the woman found dead in Jose Reyes’ home as his girlfriend, Sandra Vazquez Ceja.

Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said Ceja’s 14-year-old son, who has not been named, was also murdered.

READ: Cause of death revealed in ‘gruesome’ Tallapoosa County murders

Sheriff Abbett said Ceja was also the mother of the 12-year-old girl who escaped earlier this week and was found wandering down County Road 34, just south of Dadeville.

Reyes, who Sheriff Abbett said was in the country illegally, is charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and first-degree kidnapping. According to court records, prosecutors said Reyes gave prior statements in which he admitted causing the victims’ deaths. Reyes’ case has been moved to a grand jury.

Sheriff Abbett said Ceja and her two children moved in with Reyes in February 2022. He believes Reyes killed Ceja and her son on or around July 24.

Court records show Reyes tied the girl to bed posts for one week and gave her alcohol to keep her in a drugged state.

Sheriff Abbett said she was able to free herself by chewing through the restraints, breaking the braces off her teeth in the process. She escaped the house and was found Monday morning wandering down the street.

“She’s a hero,” said Sheriff Abbett.

Sheriff Abbett said the girl is now in the custody of Tallapoosa County DHR and has no life-threatening injuries.

Authorities say Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, is facing multiple charges in Alabama that...
Authorities say Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, is facing multiple charges in Alabama that include first-degree kidnapping.(Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Office)

The court hired a translator for Reyes, who is being held without bond. Sheriff Abbett said he was previously deported from the U.S. for illegal entry from Mexico but returned. It’s unclear when he was deported or when he returned.

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