MEXICALI — A teenage love triangle that included a female Calexico High student led to the gruesome death of a teen here last week at the hands of an allegedly jealous boyfriend who used Facebook to lure his victim.
In the early-morning hours of July 17, the 16-year-old victim was reportedly lured to a residence in the eastern part of Mexicali, where he was beaten with a baseball bat, stabbed and had his throat slashed before the alleged killer and his girlfriend, both also 16, dumped the body on the outskirts of the city.
While it isn’t clear from Mexican media reports when or how the boyfriend and girlfriend were arrested for the killing, as of Saturday they were being held without bail in a Mexicali juvenile detention center.
During a court hearing that day, a judge accepted the boyfriend’s confession to the crime, according to media reports.
The two boys are said to be students at COBACH I in Mexicali, which is equivalent to a high school, according to La Voz, a Mexicali newspaper. The girl is said to have an address in the United States, where she is studying, according to a press release from the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Baja California, or the Baja California attorney general.
Various sources within the Calexico Unified School District could not verify whether the girl is a student in the district by press time Saturday.
The anatomy of a murder
The boyfriend of the female allegedly posed as the girl and used her Facebook account to entice the victim to an address in eastern Mexicali by promising sex, according to Mexican media sources.
The Facebook posting asked the victim to bring condoms, as “she” was alone, according to Mexican print media.
The female, allegedly acting on orders by the boyfriend, went outside to pay for the taxi that the victim arrived in at about 5:30 a.m. July 17. She then went into the residence and went upstairs to a second floor room as her boyfriend instructed.
The boyfriend answered the door for the victim, argued with the boy, saying “so you are the one that is acting like a Romeo with my girlfriend” and struck him with a wooden bat once, to which the victim replied in pain “calm down,” La Voz and La Crónica, another Mexicali newspaper, reported.
The boyfriend struck the victim with the bat once more, knocking him to the ground, and then proceeded to strike him in the head three times before slashing his throat with a kitchen knife, according to La Voz.
The boyfriend allegedly checked the victim’s pulse before going upstairs to tell the girlfriend to help him clean up, according to La Voz.
The couple allegedly wrapped the body in a blanket and placed it in the trunk of the boyfriend’s Nissan Altima, according to La Voz.
The body was found by Mexican authorities last week on the CETYS Highway wrapped in the blood-stained blanket, according to Adelante Valle.
Some of the details as to what actually occurred during the entire incident varied in the narratives between the Spanish-language news sources.
As reported in La Crónica, the boyfriend was allegedly the jealous type to the point of reviewing his girlfriend’s Facebook activity through her account.
It was also reported in La Voz that the boyfriend had been drinking heavily the night before the incident as he and the girlfriend partied most of the night of July 16 and early July 17.
Minors go to court, crowds protest
A crowd of about 100 people — complete with signs and chants of “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” and “try them as adults as they murdered like adults” — gathered outside the Civic Center as the three-hour preliminary hearing for the minors occurred in juvenile court around noon Thursday in Mexicali.
During the hearing, the female was said to have had a prior sexual relationship with the deceased, the last of which was considered violent, according to La Voz.
But La Crónica reports the relationship between the female and victim was mostly online via Facebook and the two were friends, only having met each other in person about two times.
While juvenile court Judge Alvaro Castilla Garcia accepted the confession of the boyfriend, he also set bail for the couple at 380,000 pesos each, or about $34,500 in U.S. currency.
The minors were sent to a juvenile detention center in Colonia Ahumadita in the outskirts of southwestern Mexicali.
Bail was rescinded Saturday by a Mexicali official. The couple will continue to be held at the juvenile detention center without bail until their next court appearance, according to La Cronica.
Protests continue with more on the way
Another crowd marched in protest from FEX to the Civic Center here Saturday as the campaign to get the minors tried as adults continued, according to La Crónica.
Through a search of Facebook on Saturday, the Imperial Valley Press found a memorial page for the victim in which more than 300 people have signed up to attend a protest at Centro Civico here Monday afternoon.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Adelante Valle Editor Arturo Bojorquez also contributed to this report.