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Homicide suspect held on $1M bond in wife’s death; children alerted deputies

GRANGER, Wash. – A Granger man suspected of killing his wife and dismembering her body before burning it was ordered held Monday at the Yakima County jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Maria Gonzalez-Castillo, 37, died from a blow to the left side of her head, Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said following an autopsy Monday.

Her husband, Jaime Munguia Alejandre, 44, was arrested Friday morning, after investigators said their children reported her missing after a Thursday night argument between the couple.

Court records said one of the children heard a sound like someone being hit, but when the teenager knocked on the door to check, the father said he was showering, according to court documents.

But the teen said the house didn’t have running water, according to court records.

Investigators said the argument ended late Thursday or early Friday and two of the children became worried when they didn’t hear from their mother by around 8:30 the next morning, because she was usually up taking care of at least seven children who lived at the house.

While looking for their mother, the two saw blood on a mattress and smoke coming from a fire pit about 30 feet from the house.

When they went to investigate the smoke, they saw something smoldering in the pit and called deputies, according to court documents.

The body appeared to have been dismembered to fit in the small cement-lined burn pit, according to court documents. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have filed a detainer for Munguia Alejandre.

Her death marked the 13th homicide for Yakima County and the only one for Granger this year.

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