GWINNETT COUNTY, Georgia (WGCL) — According to a report from Univision Atlanta, the boyfriend of a Gwinnett County teacher is now the main suspect in her murder.
Mexican authorities told Univision that Fidel Barragan was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in Alexandra Morales’ death.
The 24-year-old’s body was found in Mexico last week after she was reported missing last month. She had last been seen on Oct. 30, after attending a concert in Zapopan, Mexico, near Guadalajara. Authorities haven't said how she died.
Morales was an elementary school teacher at Benefield Elementary School in Gwinnett County in the Atlanta area. She went on leave from her teaching job in late October.
Maria Palacios, a parent at the school, told WGCL-TV that the community was in shock and she still can’t get over the loss of her daughter’s first grade teacher. .
“My heart sank. It’s a huge loss because at this point in her career, she was such a great teacher,” she said. “She was so natural at it and the kids loved her. They had so much fun.”
Palacios said sharing the news with her 6-year-old daughter was difficult.
“Before I could get the words out, my daughter was crying already,” she said. “I had to respond, explaining what it means to not come back, that Ms. Morales was not coming back.”
Palacios said her daughter was fond of Morales because she was the first bilingual teacher she had. Spanish is her daughter’s first language. “So, to have a Latina bilingual teacher was really important to her,” Palacios explained. “She was the first teacher she identified with personally, and it was the first teacher my daughter said, ‘I want to be a teacher, like Ms. Morales.’”
Morales graduated from Georgia State University in 2019, according to her social media pages. Palacios said Morales was always cheerful in the classroom, attentive and extremely patient. A life and budding career tragically cut short.
“I just hope her family knows how inspirational and impactful she was to her students,” Palacios said. “I don’t know if there’s a lot of reassurance you can have in these times but to know she’s left an impact in kids’ lives such as mine, I just don’t know if we can ever repay her family for that.”