Lyons, N.Y. (WHAM) - The man accused of killing a woman and her 14-month-old son in Sodus last May has pleaded guilty to causing their deaths.
Alberto Ebarado Gutierre-Reyes pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon and her 14 month old son, Owen Hidalgo-Calderon. The plea agreement was accepted by a Wayne County Court judge Wednesday.
Gutierre-Reyes will be sentenced to 20 years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision on each count. Each sentence will run concurrently, meaning both sentences will be served at the same time, as opposed to back to back or consecutively.
Selena and Owen were declared missing on May 16, 2018. After several days of searching by hundreds of law enforcement officers and volunteers, Selena’s remains were found buried under dirt and branches on the Joy Road farm where she worked in Sodus. Gutierre-Reyes was arrested on May 24, 2018 - the same day on which Selena's remains were found. He was initially charged with tampering with physical evidence, but was eventually indicted on two counts of second-degree murder in Wayne County Court.
Gutierre-Reyes was charged in federal court with having a forged social security card and re-entering the US after being removed twice before. Court paperwork filed by federal attorneys in July indicates he is close to a plea deal on the federal charges.
Owen’s remains were located and identified in October.
A Rochester Police investigator testified in March 2019 Reyes admitted he came home and found Selena dead and Owen missing. He reportedly told investigators he carried Selena’s body 300 yards into the woods. Surveillance video allegedly captured Reyes on the farm that day, holding a shovel. It still remains unclear how the victims died and what evidence ties Reyes to their deaths.
At a news conference Thursday, officials were unable to shed any further light on what led to Selena and Owen's deaths.
"He had to acknowledge and admit that he caused their deaths," said Wayne County District Attorney Michael Calarco. "There was no more specificity relative to Mr. Reyes’ statement concerning those details."
"It’s very difficult to explain that, what’s in the mind of someone who commits these types of crimes," he added. "The ‘why’ is probably only going to be known to Mr. Reyes, and he gave no indication as to the answer to that question."
The question of closure in the case still lingers for investigators and Selena's family. It's something that Calarco and Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts say may never fully be found.
"Selena would have been, on October 15, 20-years-old," said Virts. "Little Owen, today, would be two years old. Reyes is going to do 20 years. When he gets out, he’s still going to have a life. Those two people don’t, and the family has to continue to live with that."
"I don’t know how you bring closure or define justice when two young people are killed like this, and suffering a loss," said Calarco. "There is some solace, I think, that the family consented, was on board with this, sparing them from the turmoil of having to relive this again."
Federal charges are still pending against Reyes. When asked about the possibility of deportation, Calarco and Virts said Reyes would be required to serve his sentence before being removed from the country.
Gutierre-Reyes is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7.