Law enforcement officials in Alabama say an illegal alien and an immigrant in America on a green card are responsible for murdering a 13-year-old girl with special needs and her grandmother, who had connections to Mexican drug cartels, says a report by AL.com.
The brutal beheading of 13-year-old Mariah Lopez took place after she witnessed her grandmother, Oralia Mendoza, get attacked with a knife in a cemetery, according to court testimony.
Mendoza, the 49-year-old grandmother, was alleged to have had connections with the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel, a popular and deadly drug-trafficking organization.
Mendoza, along with Israel Palomino and Yoni Aguilar, had traveled to Georgia on June 2 to pick up methamphetamine, according to Investigator Stacy Rutherford. During the trip, one of the men became suspicious that Mendoza’s involvement was a setup.
Authorities say that Mendoza and Aguilar lived together and had dated one another in the past.
Palomino and Aguilar reportedly woke up Mendoza one night and told her that they were taking her and her granddaughter somewhere safe.
On June 4, Mendoza and Lopez were reportedly driven to Moon Cemetery located on Cave Springs Road. According to Aguilar, Mendoza and Palomino got out of the car and argued about the entire situation.
According to Aguilar, that is when the situation escalated and Palomino stabbed Mendoza. Due to Mendoza’s granddaughter being at the scene during the crime, Aguilar and Palomino took the 13-year-old girl to a separate location nearby and beheaded her.
Aguilar revealed to investigators that he was holding a knife when Palomino walked up to him and moved his arm back and forth in a sawing motion. Lopez was later beheaded.
Days later, both Aguilar and Palomino were placed in custody.
Two knives were recovered and cell phone signals from both of the men’s cellphones were pinged at the locations of each occurrence.
Palomino, 34, and Aguilar, 26, are both charged with two counts each of capital murder in the slayings of Mariah Lopez and her grandmother, Oralia Mendoza.
@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller