A twice-deported undocumented immigrant from Mexico appeared in court in Upstate New York on Tuesday to face charges related to the death of his 18-year-old girlfriend, whose toddler son is still missing and feared dead.
Everado Donoteo-Reyes, 25, so far has been charged with tampering with evidence after he admitted to burying the body of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon near an apple orchard in Sodus, New York.
The Guatemalan migrant worker’s decomposing remains were found last week wrapped in a plastic bag in the woods behind the farm where she worked and lived with her son, 14-month-old Owen Hidalgo-Calderon.
Day in court: Everado Donoteo-Reyes (left) appeared in court on Tuesday in the death of his girlfriend. Her son, Owen Hidalgo-Calderon (right), has been missing since May 16
Law enforcement officials issued an Amber Alert for the missing toddler on Friday and spent the weekend combing through the 350-acre farm, to no avail. On Tuesday, the alert was cancelled, but the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies continued scouring the area in search of the child.
Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts said during a press briefing Monday that while he hoped the toddler was still alive, there was a strong possibly that Owen has died.
‘We have to look to reality here that he is concealed somewhere here on the farm,’ Virts said, as the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported.
During his initial court appearance on Tuesday, Donoteo-Reyes was led into Sodus Town Court, dressed in a black-and-white striped jail garb, with his wrists and ankles restrained. He was accompanied by a lawyer from the county public defender’s office and a Spanish-language interpreter, but did not speak.
Prosecutor Christine Callahan said the suspect admitted to moving or hiding his deceased girlfriend’s body between logs, but claimed he did not kill her. The man was allegedly afraid that he would be charged in Hidalgo-Calderon’s death or deported back to Mexico.
Guatemalan migrant worker Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, 18 (left), was found dead last Wednesday. Her boyfriend, 25-year-old Donoteo-Reyes (right), has been charged with evidence tampering
Hidalgo-Calderon was buried near the apple orchard where she lived and worked in Sodus, New York. She’s pictured above with her baby
He reportedly declined to answer any questions about Owen’s whereabouts. The child’s biological father lives in Guatemala.
Donoteo-Reyes is due back in court on July 2.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Donoteo-Reyes, who also went by the alias ‘Alberto Ebavardo Gutierrez-Reyes,’ was previously removed from the US in 2016 and 2017 and has a 2017 federal conviction for illegal entry.
His late girlfriend also had been living in the country illegally since 2016 and was in the process of being deported at the time of her death.
The Guatemalan mother and her son were last seen alive at the farm on May 16. Owen was absent at day care the following two days. Hidalgo-Calderon was eventually reported missing on May 20 by her mother who hadn’t heard from her in three days.
Donoteo-Reyes was taken into custody after a hunter neighbor’s trail cameras caught him walking with a shovel into the woods where his girlfriend’s body was eventually found.
Sheriff Virts said the victim ‘did seek shelter earlier this year for domestic violence issues’ but nothing was officially reported to the police.
While he lived with his girlfriend at the farm in Sodus, he was taken into custody at a farm an hour away in York last Wednesday night.
Rebecca Fuentes, of the Workers’ Center of Central New York, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that Hidalgo-Calderon and the rest of her family were applying for asylum. Her next court date was scheduled for June 5.
Hidalgo-Calderon’s mom Estela issued a statement after her daughter’s body was found.
‘My daughter and my grandson were my life, she was my first born and I feel like a piece of my heart is gone. What has happened to my family is unfair. I want the perpetrator to go to jail forever. I do not want another family to be hurt in this way,’ she said.
Anyone with information should contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 946-9711.
A GoFundMe has been started to help Hidalgo-Calderon’s family pay for her funeral expenses.