Mom killed after she denies man romantic access to daughter

MCSO: Mother killed after she denies man romantic access to underage daughter

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Jose Zarate

AGUILA, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives are investigating a murder that happened late Monday night near Powell and 2nd Street.

Authorities say an argument ensued after the suspect, 25-year-old Jose Zarate, went to 31-year-old Maria Saucedo's home around 9:30 p.m.

When the two began fighting about Zarate wanting to have a romantic relationship with Saucedo's 13-year-old daughter, he pulled out a rifle and shot her in the chest at close range -- in the presence of the teen.

According to the MCSO report, "One of several witnesses to the crime apparently disarmed Zarate before he fled the area on foot."

When they arrived at the scene, deputies administered CPR on Saucedo, but she was later pronounced dead.

"How awful this is that a mother loses her life in the process of defending her daughter's honor," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

On Wednesday, deputies arrested Zarate.  He was found at his home.

Deputy Joaquin Enriquez stated, "Sheriff's deputies say Zarate is a non-U.S. citizen who has been living in the country without proper authorization."

Zarate was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on the following charges: 2nd degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon by a prohibited person.

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