Man wanted in murder, kidnapping surrenders

Alexander Zelaya
December 29, 2011 12:16:23 PM PST
The man wanted in the murder of his girlfriend and the kidnapping of his 22-month-old daughter has turned himself into authorities.

Twenty- three-year-old Alexander Zelaya is accused of fatally shooting 22-year-old Miriam Laticia Reyes outside her Fayetteville home and then taking the couple's daughter.

On Thursday, authorities said Zelaya drove to a Wal-Mart in West Haven Connecticut and asked employees where the nearest police station was located.

Zelaya told West Haven police that he was afraid officers would kill him because he had left his daughter at what he thought was a truck stop and had killed someone in North Carolina.

Authorities in Cumberland County have been searching for Zelaya after finding Reyes' body shortly after midnight Tuesday. She had been shot multiple times.

"We're told that the reason for the shooting was apparently an argument between the pair," said Debbie Tanna with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. "And he took their 2-year-old daughter and left in a burgundy Toyota. We're not sure who that vehicle belongs to, but we're sure it doesn't belong to him."

Hours after Reyes' body was discovered, a delivery man in Newport News, Virginia found 22-month-old Juliana Laticia Reyes outside a shopping center. Police said she was reportedly wearing only a T-shirt and a dirty diaper. She was unharmed.

The girl was later returned to her grandparents in Cumberland County.

Zelaya was ordered held on a $500,000 bond by a Connecticut judge Thursday afternoon. He next faces an extradition hearing Jan. 10 on charges of first-degree murder.

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