TAYLORSVILLE, NC (Fox News 46) – North Carolina authorities say the man accused of murdering his ex-wife and her two children is a Mexican citizen who’s in the United States illegally.

Areli Aguirre Avilez, 30, is charged with murder in the death of 38-year-old mother Maria Calderon, and her children, 11-year-old Angel Pacheco and 12-year-old America Pacheco.

The children were found shot inside their burned home, while Calderon is presumed dead. Police say Avilez’s 16-year-old girlfriend joined in the attack, running the mother over with a vehicle at his command and then helping him dump her body into the Catawba River.

The Alexander County Sheriff’s department says Avilez also has been indicted on charges of statutory rape, arson and violating a domestic violence order with a weapon.

The 16-year-old is charged with murder and arson.

FOX News 46