Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus is the New Jersey woman accused of beating her wife to death with a wine chiller before fleeing the state. She was arrested in Houston, Texas, on May 20.
The victim, Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, was found dead on May 17 inside the couple’s apartment along Creek Road in Brick Township. The Ocean County Medical Examiner determined the death was a homicide.
The prosecutor’s office noted in a press release that “further investigation ultimately determined that Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus did, in fact, cause the victim’s death” and that a warrant was issued for her arrest. Prosecutors did not elaborate on what evidence led to that conclusion. Heavy has reached out for more information.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus Faces Murder & Weapons Charges
The Brick Township Police department received a call about an “unresponsive female” at an apartment in the Millbrook Manor complex on May 17. Officials have not shared who made the call or whether the caller had entered the apartment.
The police found Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus’ “lifeless body” in an upstairs bedroom. Her death was classified as “suspicious” until the medical examiner performed an autopsy and determined the manner of death was homicide.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office explained in a news release that investigators found a “cylindrical container used for the purpose of chilling wine” and that the item “was utilized in the commission of the murder.” Officials say the victim’s injuries were “consistent with the implementation of this item.”
A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, Bryan Huntenburg, confirmed to the Asbury Park Press that Mayra and Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus lived together at the apartment. He said it was the department’s “understanding” that the two women were married. Investigators have said they are confident that Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus caused the victim’s death.
Gavilanez-Alectus has been charged with murder. She also faces two secondary charges: Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Police have not publicly speculated about a possible motive.
Prosecutor: Gavilanez-Alectus Traveled From New York to Houston By Bus Before Federal Agents Found Her
Gavilanez-Alectus was classified as a fugitive after the victim’s death was ruled a homicide. According to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, Gavilanez-Alectus first traveled to New York City. Brick Township in New Jersey is located about 70 miles south of midtown Manhattan.
From there, she traveled out-of-state on a bus. On May 20, she was arrested in Houston, Texas. Prosecutors say the FBI, the United States Marshals Service and the Houston Police Department were all involved in locating and apprehending her. No other details about her arrest have been shared, or information about where she may have been staying in Houston.
Prosecutor Billhimer said in a statement, “It is extremely satisfying when law enforcement works together and we are able to get a dangerous person like Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus into custody. We will immediately begin extradition proceedings to bring Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus back to Ocean County to answer for these charges. Justice for Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus weighs heavy on all of our minds.”
Inmate records show Gavilanez-Alectus was booked into the Harris County Jail on May 21. A court date was scheduled for May 26. The extradition process will likely begin on that date.
Gavilanez-Alectus Posted a Loving Message to Her Wife On Facebook Days Before Rebecca was Found Dead
Mi amor gracias for all the uncountable ways you make this little crazy family (Nicole,Leo,Marcus,Makaylah, Bou, Ashy) 😥and my entire life better with every moment. (“You know what’s up” 🤪 ) I truly blessed that you are my wife. 😬 Te amo PRECIOSA 🥰 Hoy mañan y siempre. Happy Mother’s Day Mi Amor!!
According to her Facebook page, Gavilanez-Alectus was originally from Ecuador. She listed the city of Babahoyo as her hometown and that she attended the Instituto Technico Informatica Espana in Ambato, Ecuador, for college.
Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus wrote on her own Facebook page that she had been married since July 11, 2018.
READ NEXT: Should You Wear a Mask & Gloves to the Gym?