CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A man was denied bond Friday morning after his wife’s body was found partially buried in a cornfield near Gaffney.
According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, 42-year-old Dionicia Nava Abarca was arrested early Sunday morning in Baldwin County, Alabama.
The sheriff’s office said they were called to a home on Chesnee Highway Sunday morning for a missing persons report.
Deputies said several children reported that their mother and father had left home Saturday afternoon and had not returned. The children told investigators that their parents had been arguing and that they had witnessed their father choke their mother.
Investigators said the children reported that their parents were going to go shopping, check on a rental property and to go a gardening spot.
The sheriff’s office said deputies found the couples’ pickup truck at their rental property on Small Farm Road. When investigators went to the gardening spot at the end of Concord Heights, they found fresh tracks leading into a field. Deputies found a woman’s body around 2 p.m. which had been partially buried between rows of corn.
The body was later identified by the Cherokee County coroner 37-year-old Alisia Campos Garcia.
Cherokee County investigators said they received information that Abarca had been arrested in Alabama and was with his 17-year-old nephew at the time of his arrest.
The nephew told investigators that he had picked up his uncle from the property on Small Farm Road and believed he had done something wrong because he was acting strangely.
Investigators said Abarca was charged with second degree unlawful imprisonment by law enforcement in Alabama after they say he threatened his 17-year-old nephew and wouldn’t let him stop. The nephew told investigators Abarca had put Houston, Texas in the GPS.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said investigators traveled to Alabama to interview Abarca. Investigators were able to obtain warrants, charging him with murder. Deputies said he also faces immigration violations.
Abarca was extradited back to South Carolina and was denied bond for the murder charge Friday in magistrate court.
During the bond hearing, the victim’s sister said Garcia had “suffered a lot with him, but thank God she’s in Heaven now.”
Family members asked for justice to be served. The sister went on to say she wishes “he will rot in jail and never come out.” She also said she hopes he will not have any contact with the children.
Family members said they do not believe Abarca ever loved Garcia or their children because of the way he treated them.