Claudia Sanchez Reyes, 21, was last seen leaving her work on May 6, 2016, according to officials

By Gabrielle Chung
April 29, 2021 06:46 PM
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Claudia Lisseth Sanchez Reyes
Claudia Sanchez Reyes
| Credit: Santa Ana Police Department

A 35-year-old California man was indicted Wednesday on a federal charge of kidnapping his wife almost five years ago, resulting in her death, according to officials.

Eddy Reyes was arrested on April 15 after authorities alleged in a criminal complaint that he had kidnapped his 21-year-old wife Claudia Sanchez Reyes, who was last seen leaving her job on May 6, 2016, the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced in a statement.

During an investigation by the Santa Ana Police Department into Sanchez Reyes' disappearance, detectives learned that the woman's colleagues had overheard her fighting with her husband shortly before she was picked up in a rented SUV, prosecutors said.

Claudia Lisseth Sanchez Reyes
Claudia Sanchez Reyes
| Credit: Santa Ana Police Department

In an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, officials said a drop of Sanchez Reyes' blood was later founds in the vehicle and a cadaver dog indicated that a dead body had been in the SUV, according to the statement.

The affidavit also detailed a history of alleged domestic abuse by Reyes against his wife — including "several threats to kill her" — as well as past temporary restraining orders Sanchez Reyes had obtained against her husband, prosecutors said.

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Reyes, an employee of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is currently being held without bond, according to officials. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on May 3.

If convicted of the charge of kidnapping resulting in death, Reyes faces potential sentences of the death penalty or life in federal prison without parole.

An attorney for Reyes could not be immediately identified by PEOPLE.