Fayetteville girl found safe; father sought in girlfriend's death
Posted December 27, 2011
Updated December 29, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cumberland County authorities were searching Tuesday for a man accused of killing his girlfriend, kidnapping their 22-month-old daughter and then leaving the little girl in Virginia.
An Amber Alert was canceled Tuesday morning after Jose Alexander Zelaya, 23, left his daughter, Juliana Reyes, at shopping center in Newport News, Va., according to police.
A food delivery driver found the girl in front of a closed business, wearing only a purple T-shirt and dirty diaper. The driver took the child to a nearby Food Lion, which was open at the time.
Zelaya is believed to be in the Newport News area, according to police. He faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of his girlfriend, 22-year-old Miriam Latisha Reyes, of 2227 Waco Drive in Fayetteville.
Police say he shot her several times just after midnight, took Juliana and stole a neighbor's truck. Authorities say Zelaya, a Salvadoran national, could be in a burgundy Toyota.
"There was a gunshot, you know. Somebody opened fire. Pop! Pop! Pop!" said neighbor Jesus Moreno, whose truck was stolen. "I opened the door. He pushed me."
Anyone with information on Zelaya's whereabouts is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 910-323-1500 or Newport News police at 757-247-2500.