The girls thought they were going to a convenience store with their uncle but instead they were kidnapped forcefully.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 31, 2020. It has since been updated.
Losing a sibling with whom you play, fight, grow, and learn can be devastating for a child. In a tragic incident, two girls, who were only 13 and 12, were kidnapped by a family member, a betrayal that may leave emotional scars for life.
The girls from Phoenix, Arizona, thought that they were just going out for a car ride but instead went through a nightmarish experience, that proved fatal for one of them.
On July 22, sisters Stephanie Chacon, 13, and Hayli Chacon, 12, were taken from their family home and were later found on the side of the road on US 60, according to an Arizona Department of Public Safety press release obtained by PEOPLE. Upon arrival, first responders found that they had suffered "significant injuries."
Later, the troopers learned that the girls were allegedly kidnapped in Phoenix and the suspect, who was seen with bloody clothing as a Wickenburg gas station, was taken into custody. He was identified as the victims’ uncle, Carlos Eduardo Mora, 27, of Phoenix, according to the press release.
When the troopers found the two girls, they pronounced Stephanie as deceased. Hayli was in a critical condition and was flown to a Phoenix-area hospital, where she remains in a grave state.
Earlier that evening, the girls' uncle, Mora, was at the girls' family home with another man. They decided to go to a convenience store, officials said, as per Fox10. The unidentified man had planned to drive them all but he went back into the home briefly, when Mora jumped into the driver's seat. He drove away with the girls in the back seat.
The unidentified man had tried to stop Mora but he just hit him with the car and sped away. Worried family members had called the girls and were able to establish contact briefly. Just like a horror movie, they heard only screaming before the call was disconnected, according to the police report. The family later found out that Mora was driving very rashly. The reason behind the kidnapping has not been revealed.
INSEPARABLE: Family ID’s 13yo Stephanie Chacon & 12yo Haley Chacon as 2 sisters police say got kidnapped by their uncle 27yo Carlos Mora in PHX. DPS found Stephanie dead & Haley bleeding near US 60 in Wickenburg. Loved ones say the girls did everything together. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/JXGvwZMG48— Justin Lum (@jlumfox10) July 24, 2020
Mora has been booked into Maricopa County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and car theft. A GoFundMe page was started by the girls' cousin, Briana Campos. The page says that they are fundraising to help pay for Stephanie's funeral and that Hayli was "fighting for her life."
"I was Stephanie's 3rd-grade teacher," wrote Amber Muntz. "She was such a kind, hard-working, and respectful student. I loved having her in my class because she was always so excited to learn. I will miss her greatly," she added.
The two sisters were very fond of each other and Hayli's first question was about her sister when she became responsive. "The minute Hayli was responsive, she was asking about her sister," said Briana, as per Fox10.
The two children used to be inseparable but Hayli will now have to cope with a reality where her elder sister is no more. "They did everything together," said Briana. "They went to school together. They liked being around each other. You’re gonna have love for a sibling, but they were the closest in age," she added.
The mother of the suspect claimed that Phoenix Police took four hours to respond to the kidnapping, as per Fox10. The authorities found the girls only after getting a call about an "injured person on the side of the road" along US 60 around 9:19 p.m. When they responded, they found the two girls seriously injured. When Mora was initially taken into custody he provided a false name but the police soon found out that he was their uncle, according to Oxygen.com.
Sgt. Kameron Lee, the public information office supervisor for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told Oxygen.com that the Phoenix Police Department was going to handle the investigation into the kidnapping.