Sheriff: Bodies found may be linked to arson, murders

MOUTH OF WILSON, Va. (AP) — The remains of three people found in a charred pickup truck in Virginia appear to be connected to the deaths of two children in North Carolina.

News outlets report Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman says the bodies are believed to be Maria Calderon Martinez, Juan Carlos Mendez-Pena and Luis Fernando Sanchez. They were found Monday morning in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

Calderon Martinez is the mother of 11-year-old Angel Pacheco and 12-year-old America Pacheco. The children’s bodies were found in a burned home in Alexander County, North Carolina in June. Crews had previously searched the Catawba River for the mother’s body.

Mendez-Pena and Sanchez hadn’t been seen since the fire.

Thirty-year-old Areli Aguirre-Avilez and his 16-year-old girlfriend are charged with murder in the deaths of the mother and her children.

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