Five people have been accused in the slaying of a San Diego mom whose remains were found last month days after she went missing, according to multiple news reports.
The new developments in the case of Alexandria Nicole Smith were announced on Thursday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Authorities in San Diego County have released few details about the investigation so far. But they have said Smith’s clothed body was discovered by a detective on Oct. 12 in a wooded area of Temecula, California, north of San Diego 10 days after the 30-year-old woman was last seen alive, the Union-Tribune and local TV station KNSD report.
Her remains were covered with a blanket, according to KGTV. She died of asphyxiation.
On Wednesday, according to these news reports, two men and three women were taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree murder in Smith’s death: Jonnie Isaguirre, 22; Crystal Melendez, 33; Maria Pereira, 26; Amber Suarez, 37; and 35-year-old Pablo Valadez.
All five are being held without bail, and it was unclear Friday if they had entered pleas or had retained attorneys who could comment on their behalf. (Investigators were unavailable on Friday to comment on the case.)
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Smith was reportedly last seen late on Oct. 2 as she drove down El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego’s College Area, where she lived with her mom and 10-year-old daughter.
She apparently disappeared while heading to a party in nearby National City, California. Her mother reported her missing after she didn’t come home.
Smith’s cell phone was found two days later dumped in a trash bin in Vista, California. Her parked car was recovered in Temecula on Oct. 9.
“It’s been hell. It’s been awful,” Smith’s best friend, who said she traveled from Oregon to help in the search, told KNSD. “Deep down, we think it’s the worst and we’re trying to mentally prepare ourselves for that.”
The five suspects were arrested this week around San Diego County.
Police have not confirmed a motive or if Smith knew her accused killers, but detectives reportedly said the five suspects were connected.