Man captured after wife found dead in shallow grave; teen nephew forced to drive suspect to Texas, officials say

Around the South

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP/WNCN) — A man accused of killing his wife and burying her in a shallow grave in South Carolina, then imprisoning a teenage family member, was arrested in Alabama, authorities announced.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office took Dionicia Nava Abarca, 42, into custody at a highway gas station in Bay Minette early Sunday, the agency said in a statement obtained by news outlets Thursday.

Abarca was charged with the unlawful imprisonment of his 17-year-old nephew after a deputy approached a car at the closed business, and the teen driver told the officer he was being forced to take Abarca from South Carolina to Texas, officials said.

The body of Abarca’s wife, Alisia Campos Garcia, 37, was discovered Sunday afternoon in a shallow grave in a cornfield in Gaffney, South Carolina, according to Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.

The field was near where the family owned a rental property, news outlets reported, citing authorities.

Deputies said several children reported that their mother and father left home Saturday afternoon and had not returned. The children told investigators that their parents had been arguing and that they had witnessed their father choke their mother, deputies said.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office charged Abarca with murder and he was later transported back to South Carolina.

Deputies said he also has a hold on him for immigration violations.

Abarca was extradited back to South Carolina and was denied bond for the murder charge Friday in magistrate court.

During a bond hearing Friday in South Carolina, the victim’s sister said Garcia had “suffered a lot with him, but thank God she’s in Heaven now.”

Family members asked for justice to be served. The sister went on to say she wishes “he will rot in jail and never come out.” She also said she hopes he will not have any contact with the children.

Family members said they do not believe Abarca ever loved Garcia or their children because of the way he treated them.

It was unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

— WSPA contributed to this report

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