Crews search river for mother of kids found in burning home

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Crews searched North Carolina’s Catawba River for the body of a woman whose children were found dead in a burning mobile home over the weekend.

News outlets report authorities identified the missing woman as 38-year-old Maria Calderon, the mother of 11-year-old Angel Pacheco and 12-year-old America Pacheco, who were found dead in a burning home Saturday.

The Alexander County Sherriff’s Office says Calderon is presumed dead and they believe she and the children died before the fire was set.

Outlets say authorities arrested and charged Calderon’s ex-husband, 30-year-old Areli Aguirre Avilez, as well as a 16-year-old girl with three counts each of first-degree murder.

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It’s unclear whether they have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.

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