Names of two children whose bodies were found in a burned mobile home in northern Alexander County and also the name of their missing mother were given late Tuesday afternoon by Alexander Sheriff Chris Bowman.
Bowman said the children were identified as siblings Angel E. Pacheco, 11, and America D. Pacheco, 12, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem after preliminary autopsies at the hospital. He said determination of the cause of their deaths is pending. Both bodies were burned beyond recognition.
He identified their mother as Maria Calderon, 38, and said she is missing and presumed deceased.
Heidi Darlene Wolfe, 16, of Wilkesboro, and Areli Aguirre Avilez, 30, of Taylorsville, were arrested Monday and charged with three counts each of murder in the deaths of the two Pacheco children and their mother. Authorities identified Avilez and Wolfe as boyfriend and girlfriend and said Avilez and Calderon were once married.
Bowman said a recovery search for Calderon resumed about 8 a.m. Tuesday at Catawba County’s River Bend Park in Catawba County off N.C. 16 and near Oxford Dam and the Alexander County line.
He said the search was conducted on the river and nearby land and from the air but by 5 p.m. hadn’t resulted in Calderon being located. The park was closed during the search. Bowman said the search was scaled back around 3 p.m. Tuesday, but authorities are still following up on leads at different locations.
He said anyone with information on Calderon’s whereabouts is asked to call the Alexander Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-2911 or Alexander Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555.
Bowman said authorities are also 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.
Wolfe and Avilez both remain in custody without bond and have first appearances scheduled June 24 in Alexander County District Court. Avilez was taken into custody while he was walking along Macedonia Church Road south of Taylorsville about 1:20 p.m. Sunday, but authorities haven’t said when and where Wolfe was apprehended. Her last known address in Wilkes is Old Highway 18, Wilkesboro.
Agencies engaged in the search for Calderon on Tuesday were the Alexander and Catawba sheriff’s offices, Alexander Rescue Squad, Taylorsville Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation and its cadaver K-9, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and its cadaver K-9, Catawba County Emergency Medical Services, Sherrill’s Ford Fire and Rescue, Claremont Rescue, Catawba County Rescue, Catawba Emergency Services and the N.C. Highway Patrol Aviation Unit.
Firefighters found the two bodies in two different rooms of the mobile home after they extinguished a fire there late Saturday night. The mobile home, on Pine Meadows Lane in Vashti, was engulfed in flames when they arrived. The fire was reported at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The Vashti, Sugar Loaf and Taylorsville fire departments responded.
Pine Meadows Lane is near the northern end of Black Oak Ridge Road.