Dadeville man accused of murder, kidnap faces judge in Tallapoosa Co.

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Dadeville man accused of killing his girlfriend and her son plus kidnapping her 12-year daughter faced a judge in East Alabama Wednesday morning.

News Leader 9 was at the Tallapoosa County Courthouse, where a preliminary hearing went over the gruesome details unveiled in court.

You may recall a story about a 12-year-old girl found a little over a month ago along a road in Tallapoosa County. She told deputies she was able to chew through her restraints to escape after being held against her will in her own home.

On August 1st, Tallapoosa deputies responded to a call before 8:30 am on Monday that a 12-year-old girl was found walking alone along County Road 34 in Dadeville.

The girl told deputies where she lived, and the findings were almost unbelievable when they searched the mobile home.

The mutilated bodies of 37-year-old Sandra Vazquez Ceja and her 11-year-old son were found throughout the home.

37-year-old Jose Reyes was arrested at his construction job in Auburn. He told investigators his girlfriend cheated on him with his best friend and that the kids didn’t like him.

Reyes is charged with three counts of capital murder, kidnapping, and two counts of corpse abuse.

No cameras or phones were allowed in the courtroom, but investigator Christopher Harris said when he first saw the 12-year-old girl, she looked tired, dazed, confused, and said she hadn’t seen her mom or brother in about a week.

The 12-year-old was taken to the hospital for treatment, where it was later discovered she was tied up to a bed post and drugged with alcohol for a week but managed to chew herself from the restraints and escape while Reyes was at work on a construction site in Auburn.

Investigators said the braces on her teeth were broken from chewing her way through the restraints to escape.

She told investigators the last time she saw her mom was July 24th, when her Mom told her to go to her room and lock the door. Later, she says Reyes hit her upside the head, knocking her out, then she woke up tied to the bed.

In court testimony, investigators say the girl heard screams from another room and begged Reyes not to hurt her brother.

She said Reyes fed her shots of tequila and Rice Crispy Treats and would only untie her to use the restroom or see her cats.

Investigators said when they searched the home, they found blood-stained carpet and walls throughout the house.

Also, during the home search, investigators say they smelled a foul odor from a closet in the main bedroom where a sheet covered a wall. Behind the wall, they found a suitcase with the upper torso of his girlfriend surrounded by maggots, and under the floorboards, they found mutilated body parts from both his girlfriend and her son surrounded in concrete. It was also revealed in court that the boy had a blade to his chest and had been shot with a nail gun seven times to the head.

Investigators said it looked like Reyes tried to mask the order by dumping laundry detergent beads all over the floor.

Bones were also found in a burn pit out back.

Text messages between Reyes and his boss were found, saying Reyes had requested off work on July 21st and that he needed time off to fix problems with his girlfriend. On the 22nd, Reyes texted he needed another day off to go to Tennessee. On the 23rd, a receipt in Reyes’ car showed a purchase of 10 bags of concrete weighing 10 pounds each. On the 25th, his texts said he couldn’t go to work because he had forgotten his tools and needed sleep. On July 26th, Reyes was back at work.

Investigators said Reyes also told them he did not hurt the little girl because she called him “poppy and dad” but said he suffocated his girlfriend and killed the boy by kicking him in the chest. An autopsy has not yet confirmed the cause of death.

Reyes was deported in 2014 but made his way back to the area.

This case will go to a grand jury, but there is no date yet.

Of course, we’ll keep you updated on-air and online.