RALEIGH – Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman says this crime has taken a toll on his entire office. It involves the heartbreaking murder of two children last month, and what police are saying is the likely murder of three more people including the children’s mother, by an illegal immigrant who then set the home on fire.
“[…] In mid-June, firefighters were called out to a home on Pine Meadows Lane in Alexander County.
Two children were found dead inside the home after the flames were extinguished and investigators deemed the fire to be intentionally set. The two children were later identified as 11-year-old Angel Pacheco and his 13-year-old sister America Pacheco.
The children’s mother, 38-year-old Maria Calderon, is still missing, but officials believe she is deceased.
Now Bowman believes two more people, the mother’s boyfriend and friend, Jose Carlos Mendez and Luis Fernando Sanchez, may also be victims.
“Right now we have three unaccountable bodies,” said the sheriff. “We know there are people out there who know something but they may be afraid to talk to law enforcement. I just want to stress they don’t need to be afraid.” […]”
The fear of contacting law enforcement Sheriff Bowman mentions is because this happened in a community replete with illegal aliens. The sheriff confirmed that the main suspect, 30 year old Areli Aguiree-Avilez is in the country illegally, and that he employed a teenage accomplice who helped him commit the murders.
In addition to murder charges, Aguirre-Avilez is indicted on one count of violating a domestic violence order with a deadly weapon, and one count of statutory rape of a child under the age of 15.
The suspect is being held without bond, but, even if bond was granted, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office honors ICE detainers (unlike some NC sheriffs). A previous domestic violence order implies that the suspect has had previous run ins with law enforcement, yet was never handed over to immigration authorities for deportation.
The details coming out about the crime are jarring. The main suspects teenage accomplice was 16-year-old Heidi Darlene Wolfe. She too is charged with three counts of murder in connection to the case. It’s unclear if Wolfe is the victim of the statutory rape charge, but police said that charge did not involve the murdered children or their mother.
“[…] Court documents, obtained by WBTV last Thursday, stated that Wolfe admitted to detectives that she went to the home with Avilez and that he shot and killed two people inside. When a female who Wolfe thought was a child ran out of the home, the documents state, Avilez told Wolfe to run her over. Wolfe says she did what she was told, ultimately running over and killing Calderon.
Calderon’s body is still missing, and investigators are still searching for Mendez and Sanchez.
Anyone with any information about the case is urged to call the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-4658 or Alexander County Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555.”
The investigation has led law enforcement to expand their search into Ashe and Wilkes counties.