15 years ago 5 year old Samantha was playing a board game in her front yard with her friend, Sarah when a man approached the two girls and told them that he had lost his dog and he needed help finding it. Samantha took a few moments to talk to the man, and then he grabbed her. As he forced Samantha into his car, Samantha yelled to Sarah, “Help me! Tell my grandma!”
The man drove away with Samantha in his car. Sarah immediately told Samantha’s mother. Samantha’s mother reported this and the search for Samantha began. Despite Sarah being a young child and only seeing the man who abducted Samantha briefly, she was able to give a very accurate description of him and the car he was driving
Just a day later, Samantha’s body was found. She was nude, and her body was found about fifty miles away in a national forest by a passerby. Samantha had been sexually assaulted and she had been strangled, which caused her death. It was also discovered that she had fought her attacker, as his DNA was found underneath her fingernails.
The man who had assaulted and killed Samantha had been described by police as “incredibly sloppy”. He had left behind much evidence that he was the one who kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered Samantha. His name was Alejandro Avila. In May of 2005, he was convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances, and he was sentenced to death.
Alejandro had previously been near Samantha’s home because his ex-girlfriend lived there. He had been acquitted of molesting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and niece. Police also found child pornography on Alejandro’s computer.