A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer was placed on the man charged with the first-degree murders of two children and their mother, according to Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman.
Areli Aguirre-Avilez, 30, is charged with the deaths of brother and sister Angel Pacheco, 11, and America Pacheco, 12, and their 38-year-old mother Maria Calderon. The children were found dead in their burned home early on June 16, and Calderon’s body is still suspected to be in the Catawba River.
Avilez was also indicted on statutory rape of a child 15 years old or younger, a count of violation of domestic violence order with a deadly weapon and first-degree arson on Tuesday. The rape charge does not involve the Pacheco siblings, Bowman said.
Heidi Darlene Wolfe, Avilez’s 16-year-old girlfriend, is also charged with three counts of first-degree murder and a count of first-degree arson. She is being held on a $999,999 secured bond.
Bowman said Avilez was identified as a person of interest in the recent deaths when police found he was charged with assaulting Calderon in December 2018, which he was eventually convicted of. According to a domestic violence order filed in January, Avilez also threatened to burn Calderon’s home down.
When police found Avilez walking on Macedonia Church Road in Taylorsville on June 16, he had Mexico identification but no North Carolina or United States identification. Avilez’s United States citizenship was not investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security until the murders, Bowman said.
According to Avilez’s Facebook page, he is from San Pedro Limón, Mexico.
Bowman said undocumented or not, it doesn’t change what happened to the family.
“Our main concern is the three murders in our hands,” Bowman said.
Even if Avilez, who is being held without bond, were to be given a bond, he would not be released because of the detainer, Bowman said.