Woman connected to vicious carjacking murder is released (2024)

A woman connected to the vicious Winter Springs carjacking murder earlier this month has been released, while another suspect revealed he was paid to abduct the Florida woman.

Magistrate Judge Robert Norway said Thursday in Orlando that Monicsabel Romero Soto, 28, wasn't a flight risk as she had no previous arrests and had two young children living with her in the Casselberry home she shared with her boyfriend and sister.

Soto's attorney, Susan Malove, told Norway that Soto 'is very concerned about her children' ages 3 months and 10, after being arrested on drug trafficking charges.

Meanwhile, the masked suspect who allegedly abducted Katherine Altagracia Guerrero DeAguasvivas at gunpoint before she was found dead hours later in her burnt SUV - told police he was paid to drop her off to someone.

Jordanish Torres-Garcia admitted he pointed a semiautomatic rifle at Aguasvivas' SUV in broad daylight in an Orlando suburb on April 11, according to a court affidavit obtained by NBC South Florida Thursday.

Monicsabel Romero Soto, 28, was released by authorities after beingcharged with trafficking in cocaine. She has not been charged by law enforcement related to the carjacking

Jordanish Torres-Garcia was federally charged with carjacking resulting in death. He has now claimed he was paid to abductKatherine Altagracia Guerrero De Aguasvias

The remains of Katherine Altagracia Guerrero De Aguasvias were found hours after she was kidnapped on a Florida road

But the case has made an exceptional turning point after Garcia told an FBI agent that he was paid $1,500 to kidnap the 31-year-old woman.

Soto had initially been arrested following a search warrant on her home shared with boyfriend Giovany Joel Crespo Hernandez.

She was apprehended on April 17, after Homeland Security Investigations agents stumbled across more than $17,000 ofrubber-banded cash, multiple semi-automatic handguns and scattered drugs, including 17 grams of fentanyl inside a kitchen cabinet.

They also found drug-packaging materials and two drug and money ledgers, and drugs were left around the house in easy reach of the children,prosecutor Stephanie McNeff told the judge.

After learning of a package en route from Puerto Rico to St Cloud in Osceola County that might contain drugs, they intercepted the delivery and found more thanthree one kilogram cocaine blocks, worth about $60,000, hidden within multiple parts of a large lamp, Pablo Rivera, a federal law enforcer and case manager, testified Thursday.

He said the three rectangular compartments of the lamp were 'perfectly shaped' like cocaine blocks.

Investigators had then caught Soto red-handed after putting the package back together and delivering it, setting up a stakeout near the St Cloud home to see who would collect it.

Soto arrived around an hour later in a white SUV and while carrying her three-month-old child, she picked up the package and placed it in her car.

After authorities had moved in, Soto admitted she had purchased the lamp for around $30 off Facebook Marketplace and sent it to a friend's home as she didn't think she could receive mail at her Casselberry home.

Soto claimed the friend had seen the package had been delivered and told her to come and collect it.

But despite there being no connection made between Soto's drug trafficking case andAguasvivas' murder, McNeff argued that the woman was a danger to the community, and to her children.

'There are no [release] conditions that can assure the safety of the community' from Soto, she said.

Soto has not, nor has she ever been, considered a person of interest in the death of Aguasvivas, and she has not been charged by law enforcement related to the carjacking.

Aguasvivas had stopped at a red light at the time of the carjacking. Police say another man followed in the Acura sedan as she drove ahead

Video shows a man in a ski mask climb out of a green Acura behind Aguasvivas's car and point a handgun at her before climbing into the back driver's-side door

Garcia, however, admitted to law enforcement that he was the suspect who jumped out of the green Acura to carjackAguasvivas on April 11.

He was first linked to the crime when law enforcement discovered he had a connection to the green Acura that was reportedly following and knocking into Aguasvivas' car before the carjacking.

His phone number was a match to that of the individual who bought the car, and he was wearing the same outfit in his Facebook profile photo and the day of the alleged carjacking.

Garcia was arrested on April 19 on a warrant for a weapons-related crime in Puerto Rico.

He was held in custody in Seminole County when the US Districtfor the Middle District of Florida tacked on a federal charge of carjacking resulting in death.

The federal affidavit revealed that Garcia had met with an unidentified individual half-an-hour before the carjacking took place, where he picked up the AR-15 that was used in the alleged attack.

Now, he claims he was paid $1,500 to takeAguasvivas and 'deliver her to another individual,' the affidavit said.

It currently remains unclear where she was allegedly supposed to have been taken, and to whom she was meant to be delivered to.

He also told investigators that his gun was not loaded during the crime.

But when cops foundAguasvias' body hours after the carjacking, it was riddled with multiple fatal gunshot wounds, according to the affidavit.

Around a dozen shell casings were found scattered across the crime scene, consistent with the 10mm handgun Garcia was holding.

Garcia made his first appearance in court on Thursday morning for a probable cause hearing.

He has now been ordered to remain in the US due to the fatal carjacking case, despite there being a warrant out for his arrest in Puerto Rico.

Four others, alongside Garcia, have been arrested in relation to the case that has gained national attention.

Only two of them, Garcia and another person of interest identified as Kevin Ocasio Justiniano, will be charged federally with carjacking resulting in death.

Justiniano, 28, was wrapped into the case earlier in the week as he was linked to a red Toyota Corolla that was seen in the same apartment complex the green Acura was found abandoned at following the deadly carjacking.

Kevin Ocasio Justiniano was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Puerto Rico on April 22, 2024. He will be extradited to Central Florida to be federally charged with carjacking resulting in death

Giovany Joel Crespo Hernandez was taken into custody on unrelated drug charges in Seminole County on April 22, 2024. He is allegedly the last person to have spoken to Aguasvivas

Francisco Alberto Estrella Chicon (left) was arrested after he allegedly gained inside information about the carjacking case, andJuan Luis Cintron-Garcia (right) died the day before the carjacking but officers believe his murder may be linked to the incident

CCTV footage captured the moment the Corolla arrived to the apartment complex to pick up the occupants of the Acura, who seemed to be wiping it down.

Records showed the Corolla belonged to a relative of Justiniano, officials said.

He is also believed to have been the driver of the Acura at the time of the carjacking, according toSeminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma.

Giovany Joel Crespo Hernandez, 27, turned himself in on Monday night at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on an active warrant for Fentanyl trafficking and marijuana with intent to sell.

He has not been charged with Aguasvivas' murder, according to police, but was named a person of interest in the carjacking case since he was the last person to speak to the deceased.

An Orange County Sheriff's Deputy was arrested in April 14 by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office after he allegedly used law enforcement resources to gain inside information about the carjacking case.

Francisco Alberto Estrella Chicon, 33, was arrested for interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communication, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and for accessing computer or electronic devices without authorization or exceeding authorization.

'These are very serious criminal allegations. It is completely unacceptable for any law enforcement officer to misuse the power and authority of their job,' said Orange County Sheriff John Mina.

Chichon's wife was also reportedly childhood friends withAguasvivas' husband and brother, according to Lemma.

It was reported that after hearing the news of her death,Aguasvivas' husband and brother made their way to Seminole County where one of them contacted Chichon's wife and asked them to get information on the detective in charge of the case.

Chichon then allegedly searched the detective's home address, phone number, and other information - before sending it to the husband and brother.

Lemma said no other charges are expected to be brought forth against Chicon, but the investigation remains open and ongoing.

Juan Luis Cintron-Garcia was also linked to the carjacking case, but the relation between remains unclear.

Lemma claimed the green Acura involved in the carjacking incident was connected to a deadly shooting at an apartment complex in Orange County that claimed the tow truck driver's life.

The late driver was shot and killed on April 10, the day before the carjacking, officials said.

He had been spotted towing the Acura on March 19.

After finding over 100 rounds at the crime scene, several of them being 10mm, similar to the ones fired atAguasvivas' car, authorities believe it was a targeted attack.

'We can confirm that we believe the deadly shooting in Taft on April 10 could be related to the deadly carjacking out of Seminole County,' a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff's Office previously told FOX 35 News.

Potential suspects and motives currently remain unclear, as well as his link toAguasvivas, Garcia and Hernandez.

Woman connected to vicious carjacking murder is released (2024)


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