Local News

Authorities Confirm Destiny Estrada Alive, Safe In Mexico

Posted December 1, 2002 12:22 p.m. EST

— A 2-year-old girl who had been missing since her mother was fatally stabbed last week is alive and staying with relatives in Mexico, police said Friday. And she is likely to remain there.

Mexican authorities and FBI agents have visited Destiny Estrada and report she's doing well.

The girl is believed to have been taken Monday by her father, Cesar Estrada, from the south Raleigh home where her mother was killed. Estrada, 30, is charged with killing the girl's mother, Miriam Alfaro, 31, who was his ex-girlfriend.

Raleigh Police Capt. D.S. Overman said Estrada is still on the run and could be any number of different places, including Wake County.

"It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could come back," Overman said.

FBI agents said they believe Estrada is in Mexico, and they're actively looking for him there. They have a warrant to arrest him either there or in the United States.

Estrada can't be charged with kidnapping since Alfaro didn't legally have custody of Destiny, and Estrada is the girl's father.

Alfaro was found Monday night inside Estrada's residence. She had been stabbed multiple times and was buried underneath a pile of clothes in the suspect's bedroom closet.

Investigators believe Alfaro had been dead at least 10 hours before she was found.

Destiny, Alfaro's and Estrada's daughter, has not been seen in Wake County since Monday morning, when she was seen walking with her father, police said.

Estrada and Alfaro met in Morelia, in the Mexican state Michoacan. The couple lived together five years, breaking up in 2001 after Estrada was arrested for a second domestic violence charge against Alfaro, authorities reported.

A nationwide alert was issued for Estrada and Destiny last Tuesday. Police do not know how they left the area, noting that Estrada does not own a car.

The missing child had been reported to the national missing person's computer network.

Possibilities are that Estrada stole a car, or borrowed a car, or that Destiny traveled with someone else to Mexico.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Estrada had been arrested at least twice before in assaults against Alfaro, in Broward and Orange counties in Florida.

In one incident, according to court documents, Estrada chased the woman down a street and carried her back to their home and assaulted her. He received probation for that assault.

Alfaro died sometime Monday morning. Her body was found around 8 p.m. Monday in a residence in the 500 block of Peach Street.

The 30-year-old Estrada reportedly had been stalking Alfaro.

Overman said Estrada, who was last seen in the neighborhood around 10:30 a.m. Monday, is armed and dangerous.

"He obviously could be armed with a knife," Overman said of Estrada. "Based on the brutality of this murder, I would say that this a very dangerous individual."

Alfaro, from Florida, was visiting Estrada's cousin at his apartment on Navaho Drive in North Raleigh. Police believe she was kidnapped from the parking lot, then taken to the Peach Road residence and killed.

Police said two men who lived at the Peach Road apartment found Alfaro's body when they came home from work and called 911. Estrada reportedly had been staying with the men.

Estrada is described as 5-9, weighing 180 pounds. He has ties to Florida, Illinois, Mexico and California.

Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department.