PHOENIX — A murderer remains on the loose after the body of 18-year-old Jaelynn Alston was found in an industrial building in January.
According to police documents obtained by ABC15, the owner of the building rented out rooms in the building to tenants.
On the day the body was discovered, a cleaning crew pried open the door to one of the suites after the manager noticed a foul odor. The manager reportedly thought the smell might have been coming from the refrigerator.
Upon entering the room the crew saw a body lying face down on the bedroom floor with blood in various areas of the room.
The workers then called 911 and the Phoenix Police Department began its investigation.
According to documents, investigators were able to identify the victim as Alston. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and face.
The building’s owner reported to investigators that the room was being rented to a man named Pedro Meza, but that he had not been seen for up to two weeks and was late on rent. He told authorities that he believed Meza to be from Sonora, Mexico. He is currently listed as a person-of-interest in Alston's homicide case.
When police performed a record search of Meza, they discovered a 2009 Toyota Camry registered to him had crossed the U.S./Mexico border into Mexico on January 12, 2020.
At the crime scene, investigators discovered a traffic ticket that was issued to Alston on January 4. When they checked body-cam footage from the officer who pulled him over the video showed Alston in the same clothing her body was found in. It also showed two men approach Alston.
A few hours later on that same day, police obtained surveillance video from the industrial building which showed the same two men, one identified as Meza and the other unknown, getting into a car with Alston. The men were later seen leaving the area on bicycles.
It’s unclear how or if Meza and Alston knew each other prior to January 4. So far no arrests have been announced in the case.
Anybody with information is urged to contact the Phoenix Police Department or 480-WITNESS to remain anonymous.