Local News

Woman found in Sampson County was beaten; husband, son missing

Posted April 20, 2009 4:20 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2009 9:40 p.m. EDT

— Mary Esther Avellaneda was beaten on the head, neck, torso and legs, an autopsy determined.

Avellaneda’s body was found in a wooded area near Salemburg in Sampson County March 7.

Relatives reported Avellaneda, 38, missing after her and her son, Jose Andres Avellaneda, 13, left their Patterson Lane home Sunday night with her husband, Jose Cruz Avellaneda. He returned 20 minutes later, alone, relatives said.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Office called Jose Cruz Avellaneda the prime suspect in his wife’s death.

The 13-year-old boy remains missing, and officials believe Jose Cruz Avellaneda might be in Mexico.

The red icon denotes where Mary Avellaneda’s body was found. The blue icon denotes the house from which she and her son went missing.

Family members told authorities in March that Jose Andres Avellaneda is staying with his father's relatives in Mexico. However, the sheriff's office could not corroborate that.

Anyone who might have information about the case can call the Sampson County Sheriff's Office at 910-592-4141.