Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chualar, CA: Sheriff: Girl Found Dead On Chualar Farm Slain By Boyfriend

CHUALAR, Calif. -- The 14-year-old Salinas girl who was found dead in a Chualar farm field in November was slain by her boyfriend, deputies said Wednesday.
The body of Maria Ambriz-Reyes, 14, of Salinas, was found on Nov. 23 by a rancher who was working on a farm at 1776 Old Stage Road.
Detectives now believe her 18-year-old boyfriend, Manuel Agripino Cruz, killed her.

Cruz is currently on the run, and is considered armed and dangerous, Monterey County Sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Karamitis said. There is a $1 million warrant out for his arrest.

Ambriz-Reyes was a freshmen at Alisal High School. She was a strong student academically, had a small close knit group of friends, and never had any behavior issues, Alisal High School Principal Dan Burns said.
Ambriz-Reyes and Cruz were only dating for two months before, deputies say, Cruz killed her.
Sheriff's Cmdr. Jerry Teeter declined to say if the girl was pregnant when she was slain.
The girl's body had multiple gunshot wounds and was dumped on a dirt road used by farm tractors at Esperanza Jensen Ranch.
Less than 24 hours before she was found dead, Ambriz-Reyes was at home because her mother had called Alisal High and said she was sick, Burns said.
Teeter said the 14-year-old was not involved in gangs and had a clean criminal record.
"Cruz is a gang member and also goes by the name 'Lil Roquero,'" Karamitis said. He is described as 5 feet, six inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on Cruz's location or this homicide is urged to call Monterey County Sheriff's Det. Matt Davis at 831-755-3772 or the tip line at 831-422-2933.

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