A North Carolina grand jury returned indictments of first degree murder for a Taylorsville man and his teenage girlfriend, both already charged with three other murders in what the county sheriff called a “mass murder,” WBTV reported.
Areli Aguiree Avilez, 30, and Heidi Darlene Wolfe, now 18, were charged with the murders of Avilez’s ex-wife, Maria Calderon Martinez, and her two children, Angel Pacheco, 11, and America Pacheco, 13, last summer and have been in jail ever since, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The children’s bodies were found inside Calderon’s home after a fire on June 15, 2019, but Calderon, 38, was reported missing after the fire. Also missing were Jose Carlos Mendez-Pena, Calderon’s boyfriend; her friend Luis Fernando Sanchez; and a blue 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
“I would call it a mass murder,” said Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman, according to WBTV.
A deer hunter came across the burnt out husk of the pickup truck 70 miles away in Virginia on November 4, 2019. In the back were the skeletal remains of three people. In February, investigators determined one of the bodies belonged to Calderon.
The indictments returned on September 18 charge Avilez and Wolfe with the deaths of Mendez-Pena, 33, and Sanchez, 36, who authorities believe are the other two bodies found in the truck. The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office is working with authorities in Virginia for further identification using DNA tests.
Avilez and Wolfe have also been charged with first degree arson in the burning of Calderon’s home. Avilez is charged with violating a domestic protective order issued on behalf of Calderon in early 2019, when he was convicted of assaulting her. He’s also been charged with statutory rape of a child age 15 or younger. Wolfe is believed to be the victim in that charge.
According to court documents, Wolfe told detectives that Avilez killed two people inside the home and told her to run over a female who ran out of the home. Wolfe said she thought the female was a child, but investigators say that was Calderon.
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[Featured image: Maria Calderon, Jose Mendez-Pena, and Luis Sanchez/Alexander County Sheriff’s Office]