An Alexander County Grand Jury indicted Heidi Darlene Wolfe, 16, of Wilkesboro and Areli Aguirre-Avilez, 30, of Taylorsville on three counts each of first-degree murder and one count each of first-degree arson Tuesday morning.
The grand jury also indicted Avilez on one count each of statutory rape of a child age 15 or younger and violation of a domestic violence order with a deadly weapon.
On June 17, the Alexander Sheriff’s Office charged Avilez and Wolfe with three counts of murder apiece in the June 15 deaths of siblings Angel E. Pacheco, an 11-year-old male, and America D. Pacheco, a 12-year-old female, and their mother, Maria Calderon, 38. (She is listed as Maria Calderon Martinez in Alexander County records.) The indictments formalize the murder charges.
Authorities identified Avilez and Wolfe as boyfriend and girlfriend and said Avilez and Calderon were once married. Wolfe’s last known address in Wilkes is Old N.C. 18, Wilkesboro. Alexander Sheriff Chris Bowman said Wolfe had been staying with Avilez in Alexander for an undetermined length of time and she was arrested in Alexander.
He said Avilez is in the U.S. illegally and the Alexander Sheriff’s Office placed a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer on him.
Firefighters found bodies of the two children in different rooms of a singlewide mobile home in the Vashti community of northern Alexander after extinguishing a fire there late on the night of June 15. Bowman said autopsies determined the siblings had been shot one time each.
According to a statement of probable cause for a search warrant filed by the Alexander Sheriff’s Office, blood spatters and pools of blood found in the residence were mostly in a back bedroom and a bedroom closet. The statement said bodies of the two children were found elsewhere in the mobile home.
Seized as evidence from the mobile home, which is on Pine Meadows Lane off the northern end of Black Oak Ridge Road, were clothing, boots, paint thinner, a cell phone with a charger, computer and passports.
The arson charges resulted from the mobile home fire. Authorities reported that an accelerant, including gas, was detected in numerous areas of the structure.
Bowman said the statutory rape charge against Avilez didn’t involve Angel Pacheco or America Pacheco.
As for the charge of violating a domestic violence order with a deadly weapon, a judge issued a domestic violence protective order on behalf of Calderon against Avilez on Jan. 16, 2019, after he threatened to burn down her home. Avilez was charged with assaulting Calderon in December 2018, and later was convicted.
The statement of probable cause said that when Alexander detectives interviewed Avilez on June 16, he “denied killing the two individuals” in the mobile home in Vashti or setting it on fire. In the interview, they learned that Avilez had a girlfriend named Heidi Wolfe.
The statement said that when detectives interviewed Wolfe on June 16, she said Avilez killed two people in the mobile home when they went there. The statement also quoted Wolfe as saying that when a third person ran out, Avilez told her to run over the person and she did—and the impact killed the person.
The statement referred to the third person as a “little girl,” but Bowman said it actually was Calderon. According to the statement, “Avilez wrapped her up in a cover and they took her across Oxford Dam and dumped the body.” Oxford Dam is on the Catawba River on the Alexander-Catawba county line.
The statement said Wolfe’s mother, Angela Guillen, was interviewed at the Alexander Sheriff’s Office after Guillen called Alexander Chief Det. Donna Clanton on June 17. According to the statement, Guillen said Wolfe told her that when she drove Avilez to the mobile home, both children were shot and a person was run over. Guillen said Wolfe told her Calderon’s body was “dumped in the river” after she was killed.
The Alexander Sheriff’s Office and several other agencies searched unsuccessfully for Calderon’s body Monday through Friday of last week, primarily in and near the Catawba River below Oxford Dam. This included Catawba County’s Riverbend Park off N.C. 16.
Bowman requested the public’s assistance in notifying authorities if they find anything relevant to the search for Calderon’s body.
The sheriff said authorities are also still seeking information on the whereabouts of Jose Carlos Mendez and Luis Fernando Sanchez, both acquaintances of Calderon. Mendez and Sanchez aren’t considered suspects at this time in the investigation, he added.
The Alexander Sheriff’s Office number is 828-632-2911 and the Alexander Crime Stoppers number is 828-632-8555.