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November 28, 2023

Three feared dead in suspicious June 15 case

Three people are feared dead following a suspicious mobile home fire over the weekend in the Sugar Loaf Community.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019, Alexander County 911 received a call on Pine Meadows Ln. in reference to a mobile home on fire. Fire departments responded from Sugar Loaf, Vashti, and Taylorsville to the fire scene. Upon arrival, they discovered the mobile home fully engulfed in fire, said Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman.

After the fire was extinguished, Bowman said firemen discovered two deceased bodies inside the mobile home. The bodies were in different rooms of the home. The victims were badly burned beyond recognition. On Monday, June 17, an autopsy is scheduled to confirm the identities of the victims. The fire is believed to be the result of arson.

N.C. State Bureau of Investigation agents, the SBI Arson K-9, Sheriff’s Office Detectives, and the Alexander County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene of the ongoing investigation.

Investigators sought, and later located, a person of interest by the name of Areli Aguirre Avilez. He was located walking on Macedonia Church Rd. on Sunday, June 16, at approximately 1:20 p.m.

On Monday, June 17, 2019, Heidi Darlene Wolfe, age 16 of Wilkesboro, NC, and Areli Aguirre Avilez, age 30 of Taylorsville, were arrested and charged with three counts of First Degree Murder in reference to the incident that occurred on Pine Meadows Lane on June 15. Both are being held without bond, and have a scheduled first appearance date of Monday, June 24, 2019, in Alexander County District Court.

On Monday, Bowman said there was a body recovery investigation at River Bend Park on the Catawba River on Highway 16 (near Oxford Dam). This investigation is continuing, said Sheriff Bowman.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office Communications at 828-632-2911 or the Crime Stoppers Line at 828-632-8555.


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