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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    AZ - Crystal Reyes, 3, Phoenix, April 1997


    On Tuesday, Avelino Guzman Tamala was found guilty of 1st Degree Murder, for the death of three-year-old Crystal Reyes. The verdict marks the culmination of nearly two decades of investigation by multiple agencies, including cold case detectives with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

    On December 1, 1998, the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner recovered a partial skeleton that had been discovered in a remote area near Mobile, AZ. It would take investigators until late 2014 to positively identify the remains as those of Crystal Reyes and to unravel the story of her disappearance and death...

    The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating Crystal’s mother, Anna Marlene Reyes, AKA Anna Marlene Somoza (DOB 3/30/1966). Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at 602.506.3411.
    Feature article on the case; Crystal's mother Anna is still being sought for her part in the murder:


    Avelino Tamala’s green Ford Bronco cut through the crisp desert night, headlights revealing glimpses of scattered creosote bushes along the shoulders of State Route 238. He knew the sparsely traveled highway southwest of Phoenix from his days as a patrol deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, before he became a detective.

    Tamala still carried a gun, but no longer wore the badge – he abandoned that two years earlier for a romance with one of his confidential informants, Anna Reyes, the woman in the passenger seat that night.

    His knowledge of law enforcement and her connections to Mexican drug cartels now afforded the couple a lucrative career selling drugs smuggled into the United States. The green Bronco provided an ideal transport for bundles of marijuana.

    But that night the cargo in the trunk was much lighter, and to them, seemingly less valuable: Reyes’ 3-year-old daughter lay lifeless behind them, wrapped in a white bed sheet, a shovel next to her tiny body for what would follow...

    Crystal Reyes, the 3-year-old girl buried that cold April evening in 1997, would have turned 23 this year. Her short life, marred by abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to care for her, is a brief chapter in a tangled narrative of crime and love, deceit and heartbreak.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Ex-detective sentenced to 20 years after child's murder


    Crystal Reyes would have been living the life of a 23-year-old today were it not for the abuse that ultimately took her life, the abuse that seems too vile to be real. Yet it was. It claimed Crystal’s short life, and on Friday, it claimed another.

    Avelino Tamala, the 53-year-old ex-detective who was found guilty of Crystal’s first-degree murder in November, has been sentenced to life in prison. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville handed down the judgment as a packed courtroom, including tearful jurors, looked on.

    “You deserve to be here,” Granville told Tamala. “You were in a position to stop this, and you did not. You were in a position to save Crystal, and you did not.”
    Crystal’s remains were not identified until 2014, the same year Tamala was charged with her brutal murder. Reyes has also been charged but she has not been found.

    DNA from her father, Darren Stockwell, finally led to the ID. Stockwell had once wanted a life with Reyes and their daughter, but he walked away when Reyes revealed plans of her own.

    Though Reyes may never face the consequences of her actions as her former cohort now will, Stockwell asked that Granville take away any hope Tamala may have as he did to Crystal.

    Playing off of a statement attributed to Tamala during the trial — “If there’s no body, there’s no death” — Stockwell said, “No heart, no hope.”
    Dale Jensen sat on the jury gathered to hear Tamala’s trial, and he returned with some of his peers to witness the sentencing on Friday.

    He recalled hearing the “gruesome” details of the trial and the struggle to go home at night but say nothing at all.

    “Justice was served,” Jensen said. “It won’t completely be served until they get custody of (Reyes) and put her on trial.”

    Investigators are still seeking Crystal’s mother. Anyone with information regarding Reyes’ whereabouts should contact the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at 602-506-3411.

    If she is ever caught, Jensen, for one, will be there to see this through to the bitter-sweet end.

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