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A 13-year-old Arizona girl is dead and her younger sister in “extremely critical condition” after allegedly being kidnapped by their uncle.
Stephanie Chacon, 13, and Hayli Chacon, 12, were found on the side of an Arizona highway Wednesday night with “significant injuries,” after their uncle allegedly drove away with them earlier that night, according to a statement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Stephanie was pronounced dead at the scene. Her younger sister was flown to a Phoenix-area hospital where authorities have said she is in “extremely critical condition.”
The girls’ uncle, 27-year-old Carlos Eduardo Mora, was apprehended a short time later at a nearby gas station in Wickenburg wearing bloody clothes.
He is now facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and car theft, according to local station KSAZ-TV.
Authorities said that Mora and another adult male—who has not been identified—had planned to take the girls to a local convenience store earlier Wednesday evening. All four were in the car, but authorities said that when the unidentified man got out to go back inside the house, Mora jumped into the driver’s seat and took off.
The other man tried to stop Mora from leaving but was struck by the vehicle.
“Family members were able to contact the two victims and heard screaming before the phone disconnected,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
Authorities got a call about an “injured person on the side of the road” along westbound US 60 around 9:19 p.m. When they responded, they found the two girls gravely injured.
Troopers quickly learned the girls were the victims of an earlier kidnapping. They also received reports of a man “seen with bloody clothing” at a gas station just a few miles away.
The troopers, along with help from the Wickenburg Police Department, found Mora a short time later. He initially provided authorities with false information about his identity, but authorities were later able to confirm he was the girls’ uncle and the suspect in the alleged kidnapping.
Sgt. Kameron Lee, the public information office supervisor for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told Oxygen.com that the Phoenix Police Department is handling the investigation into the kidnapping.
Lee declined to release any further details of the alleged crime or possible motive in the case.
Oxygen.com also reached out to the Phoenix Police Department but did not immediately receive a response.
The family members of the two girls are now left coping with the sudden loss of 13-year-old Stephanie.
Briana Campos, a family member, told KSAZ-TV that the two girls had been inseparable.
“They did everything together,” she said. “They went to school together. They liked being around each other. You’re gonna have love for a sibling, but they were the closest in age.”
Campos said “the minute” Hayli was responsive in the hospital she was asking about her sister.
Mora is currently being held in the Maricopa County Jail.
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