Deputies still searching for slain mother, need help finding 2 acquaintances


(From left) Luis Fernando Sanchez, Juan Carlos Mendez-Pena and Maria Calderon Martinez

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ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. — Alexander County deputies are still searching for a mother they believe was killed and dumped in the Catawba River last month, WSOC reports.

Deputies said they have been searching for Maria Calderon Martinez since June 15 after there was a fire at her home and two bodies were found inside.

The bodies were identified as her children, 11-year-old Angel E. Pacheco and 12-year-old America D. Pacheco.

Authorities searched the Catawba River for days trying to find Martinez, but nothing has turned up.

In addition, deputies are looking for Juan Carlos Mendez-Pena and Luis Fernando Sanchez, who detectives believe are acquaintances of Martinez and are not considered suspects, according to WSOC. They were both last seen in the Sugar Loaf Community in Alexander County.

Authorities said Sanchez and Mendez-Pena both work construction, but have not been seen or contacted family or friends since June 14.

If you have any information, deputies said to call the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-1111 or 828-632-2900. You can also call Alexander County CrimeStopper at 828-632-8555.

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