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Fayetteville man accused of murder extradited to NC

Posted January 25, 2012

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— A Fayetteville man accused of killing his girlfriend and kidnapping their daughter was extradited to North Carolina on Tuesday. 

Jose Alexander Zelaya, 23, surrendered to authorities in New Haven, Conn., on Dec. 29 after a brief manhunt. 

Zelaya is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, 22-year-old Miriam Latisha Reyes, at her 2227 Waco Drive home in Fayetteville on Dec. 27, kidnapping their 22-month-old daughter, Juliana Reyes, and stealing a neighbor's truck.

A delivery driver found the little girl abandoned in front a closed business at a Newport News, Va., shopping center the same day she was kidnapped. She was wearing only a purple T-shirt and dirty diaper but was unharmed.

New Haven police said Zelaya told them he surrendered because "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."

Zelaya was transported back to Cumberland County on Tuesday. He was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center. A judge gave him a $250,000 bond on a robbery charge and denied bond on the murder charge. 

Zelaya is due in court on Wednesday morning. 

Juliana is now living with her maternal grandparents in Fayetteville.

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  • fayncmike Jan 25, 2012

    He should have his lawyers apply to be tried in a military court. He'd get a slap on the wrist and be set free. Oh wait, he only killed one, not 24. That may have a bearing on the outcome.