SANTA ANA, California – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment that charges a Covina man with kidnapping his wife in 2016 in an incident that resulted in her death.
Eddy Reyes, 35, who lived with his wife in Santa Ana when she was last seen, was arrested in this case on April 15 pursuant to a criminal complaint that also charged him with kidnapping.
Reyes, an employee of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who has been held without bond since his arrest, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on May 3 in United States District Court in Santa Ana.
The indictment alleges that Reyes kidnapped his wife, 21-year-old Claudia Sanchez Reyes, on May 6, 2016. According to court documents, Claudia Reyes was last seen leaving work on the night of May 6, 2016.
After Reyes filed a missing person report four days later, the Santa Ana Police Department conducted an investigation that revealed co-workers heard Claudia Reyes fighting with her husband on May 6 soon before he picked her up in a rented SUV, according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, which notes detectives later found a drop of Claudia Reyes’ blood in that vehicle and a cadaver dog indicated that a dead body had been in the SUV.
The affidavit also documents a history of alleged domestic abuse by Reyes against his wife, including several threats to kill her, as well as temporary restraining orders Claudia Reyes obtained against her husband in 2014 and 2016.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If he were to be convicted of the charge of kidnapping resulting in death, Reyes would face potential sentences of the death penalty or life in federal prison without parole.
The investigation in this matter is being conducted by the Orange County Violent Gang Task Force, which is comprised of several federal, state and local agencies.
Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory W. Staples and Daniel H. Ahn of the Santa Ana Branch Office are prosecuting this case.