A Texan man sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of his pregnant sister, which he cunningly staged to appear as a suicide.
Eduardo Arevalo, who was 19 years old at the time of the tragic incident, received his sentencing on June 9 after pleading guilty to the charge of felony murder. Court records obtained by PEOPLE reveal these details.
Initially facing the graver charge of capital murder, which could have resulted in a lifetime sentence without parole, Eduardo’s plea bargain allowed him to avoid such a fate. The capital murder charge was related to the untimely demise of his older sister, Viridiana Arevalo, aged 23, who tragically lost her life when she was eight months pregnant. Authorities disclosed that Eduardo committed this heinous act due to his belief that his sister’s pregnancy was a source of “shame” for their family.
Viridiana was first reported missing by concerned relatives on December 17, 2019, in The Colony, a suburban area near Dallas, as previously noted by PEOPLE.
Initially, family members suspected that Viridiana intended to harm herself, as a note suggesting her intentions to die by suicide was discovered during her disappearance, as reported by KDFW. However, law enforcement revealed later that Eduardo confessed to crafting the note himself, with the intention of disguising the murder as a suicide. His motive behind this act was his deep embarrassment over his pregnant sister, doubting her abilities as a mother to her unborn child.
“The sole reason he gave for her murder was the disgrace he believed she brought upon our family, expressing that her absence would be more beneficial,” revealed Sgt. Aaron Woodard, the public information officer at The Colony Police Department, in an interview with ABC13.
According to the arrest affidavit obtained by KXAS, Eduardo claimed that he strangled his sister while she was seated on the family couch, following an argument on December 16, 2019.
After committing the gruesome act, he transported her lifeless body in his vehicle and abandoned it in a remote location outside the city, as confirmed by the police. Later on, he retrieved the body and returned to The Colony, where he allegedly discarded it in an alley. Surveillance cameras purportedly captured Eduardo near the crime scene.
Derek A. Adame, listed as Eduardo’s attorney in the court records, has not yet responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.