Authorities have evidence implicating Mexican citizen Francisco Valdivia, 37, and Rosalina Lopez, 39, in the murder of U.S. citizen Cecelia Bravo Cabrera.
According to statements made to the Washington Post by Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Valdivia was married to Lopez in 2007 before illegally moving to southern California.
After their arrival to the U.S., Valdivia met and formed a relationship with Cabrera. Boudreaux stated that Valdivia went on to marry Cabrera strictly to gain legal status even though he was still married to Lopez.
Both Valdivia and Lopez threatened Cabrera if she ended the relationship. The Sheriff supported those claims asserting “significant digital forensic evidence,” resulting in the couples arrests on murder charges.
Investigators received information from witnesses who told them that Cabrera was last seen on June 9th at midnight with Valdivia outside of the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore.
Reports on Cabrera’s 2013 Chevrolet Malibu show the vehicle was torched and abandoned in the middle of an orchard at 5am that morning, after Cabrera was last seen. Cabrera’s body was never found. Boudreaux mentions that, “This is a very unique case in that there is not a body.” However, he confirms their accusations of the Mexican couple saying, “With the evidence at the scene and what we’ve collected from the suspects, we’re confident that they’re the sole people responsible for her death.”
On Dec. 27, Valdivia and Lopez are scheduled to appear in court. No attorneys have been named to defend them.
Local officials have requested that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement place holds on the suspects, as stated by a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s office.
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