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Venezuelan migrant charged with murder of Honduran woman found dead in El Paso motel room

UPDATE: Alvarado and Zuniga were not the only two migrants who booked into the room they were staying in, according to police. They said a family from Mexico was also part of the group that checked into the same room at the motel.

Police said the investigation found that the family has since moved to the east coast and had no involvement or knowledge of Zuniga's murder.

Investigators also found that both Alvarado and Zuniga had been processed by Border Patrol the day before Zuniga was found dead.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso Police charged 34-year-old Venezuelan migrant Eddy Jose Ortega Alvarado with the death of 40-year-old Honduran migrant Carmen Unilda Navas Zuniga. Investigators say staff members at the Budget Lodge Motel at 1301 North Mesa Street found Zuniga unresponsive on the afternoon of May 21.

Emergency crews pronounced Zuniga dead and Crimes Against Persons Detectives were called in to investigate. They ruled her death suspicious. Detectives learned Alvarado had been staying in the room with Zuniga, but had since traveled to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Detectives found Alvarado in Ft. Worth June 2 and arrested him. They believe he murdered Zuniga and and took her money after they both crossed legally into the U.S. May 20. Alvarado was booked into a jail in East Texas and is being held on a $2,500,000 bond.

Investigators say their investigation is still ongoing and they cannot disclose anymore details without jeopardizing the search, including Zuniga's cause of death. Police say this is the 6th murder of 2023, compared to 9 this time last year.

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Kerry Mannix


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