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December 08, 2023

Body found in Virginia identified as local woman

Virginia authorities have determined that remains found in that state in November 2019 are those of a Taylorsville woman missing since last June.

On Tuesday, February 12, 2020, at approximately 12:48 PM, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Sheriff Richard Vaughn of Grayson County, Virginia. This call was to inform the Sheriff’s Office that the medical examiner in Roanoke, Virginia, had made a positive identification on the remains of Maria Calderon Martinez.

These remains were among three bodies found in a burned vehicle in Virginia on November 4, 2019. Martinez was reported missing from Alexander County on June 15, 2019, after an incident that occurred at a residence in the Sugar Loaf Community.  The residence was burned and two children’s bodies, the son and daughter of Martinez, were located inside the residence.

Areli Aguire-Avilez and Heidi Wolfe have been charged in connection to this incident with three counts of First Degree Murder and are currently in custody at the Alexander County Detention Center.

Alexander County Sheriff’s Office is working with the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, Virginia, for further identification of Juan Carlos Mendez-Pena and Luis Fernando Sanchez.

Sheriff Bowman would like to thank the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office, and Radford University Anthropology Department for their assistance in this incident.

Left: JUAN CARLOS MENDEZ-PENA, DOB: 03/26/1986 and MARIA CALDERON MARTINEZ (right), DOB: 06/04/1981.





  1. Gerald Turgg on February 15, 2020 at 4:53 am

    I believe in Capital Punishment!!!!

  2. PAUL CURRY on February 15, 2020 at 6:37 am

    This is very sad.i hope this man and woman should be in jail for life or get the death penalty

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