A man who has been deported twice to Mexico allegedly strangled his girlfriend at a Wyoming, Michigan, apartment four days after he was released from police custody.
Court documents state that Raul Perez, 43, called his daughter and told her he had strangled his girlfriend, 31-year-old Karla Guadalupe-Magaña, WOOD TV reports. His daughter then called police and they went to his apartment the morning of Oct. 26.
Police found Perez in bed sleeping and Guadalupe-Magaña’s body in the bathroom. He has reportedly confessed to her murder.
According to Guadalupe-Magaña's brother, she and Perez were only friends and the two were not living together, or a couple as police believe.
On Oct. 22, four days before Perez allegedly murdered Guadalupe-Magaña, Perez was arrested by Wyoming police on a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Upon his arrest, he gave the name Jerry Lopes Sosa, according to Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Young.
A fingerprint scan revealed that Sosa was in fact Perez, who has a criminal record.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Perez has been deported twice to Mexico in the last decade. In 2005, he was deported after coming to the U.S. with the intent to distribute 135 pounds of marijuana. After his deportation, he returned to the U.S. that same year and was found guilty by a Texas court of illegal reentry. In 2008, he was again deported by ICE.
ICE did not notify the jail upon Perez’s recent arrest that he should be held, and that is why he was released, Young said, according to MLive. The state and Homeland Security were made aware of his arrest when his fingerprint scan was sent electronically via an automated system.
"Normally, ICE doesn't monitor this type of thing 24/7. He was already out of custody by the time they knew he had been in custody," Young said.
She added that it is not certain ICE officials would have requested a hold of Perez over the misdemeanor offense.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department did not have a reason to keep Perez in custody and therefore released him, Young told WOOD TV.
ICE will take custody of Perez once the murder case is complete.
“[ICE has] lodged an immigration detainer against the man arrested by the Wyoming Police Department on murder charges in Wyoming, Michigan,” the agency said in an email to WOOD TV. “ICE intends to take custody of the individual after the full resolution of the pending local charges, to include any potential conviction and subsequent prison term.”
Perez is charged with open murder and being a third-time habitual offender; he was denied bond by a judge during his Oct. 27 arraignment.
Guadalupe-Magaña was a single mother of five children, aged 5 to 14, according to a GoFundMe page that was set up to help cover her funeral expenses.