Ex-boyfriend, 2 others charged with 21-year-old mother's Kissimmee murder

Nicole Juliette Morales Arenas fatally shot by ex, police say

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Kissimmee police said they have arrested three men in connection with the death of a 21-year-old woman who was found shot Sunday at a condo complex.

Kissimmee police found Nicole Juliette Morales Arenas shot outside apartment 202 at the Arbors of Sendera condo complex after 11 a.m. She later died at the hospital.

Friends of the victim said  the 21-year-old was the mother of two young children. Morales worked as a registered chiropractic assistant, according to her Facebook page.

Michael Javier Mejias, 21, Victor Manuel Madera Castillo, 46, and Adrian Estrada Reyes, 21, were charged Monday in connection with her death.

Police said the men were found inside the apartment near where the victim was found. A fourth man was also in the apartment but has not been charged, police said.

According to a news release, Mejias was in an on-again-off-again relationship with Morales. He is accused of shooting the 21-year-old in what police are calling premeditated murder. Police said the motive for the shooting is unclear.

Police said Mejias called 911 after the shooting. He told an operator that he "didn't know" where the shooter was.

"She's not breathing, she's not breathing," Mejias said.

A neighbor also called 911 and described Morales' injuries.

"She was shot in her left arm, but by the armpit, and it looks like it went through her arm into her chest," the neighbor said.

In an interview with authorities, Mejias first said someone else shot Morales but then later admitted that he got the gun from his fanny pack, which was in a vehicle, then pressed it against Morales and pulled the trigger, according to the charging affidavit.

Mejias said he was only trying to "scare" Morales but wouldn't say why, the report said.

The other two suspects are charged with accessory to first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Police said Madera Castillo told Estrada Reyes to take the gun after the shooting and get it away from the crime scene so Estrada Reyes took it to his house.

During his first appearance Monday in Osceola County, a judge denied bail for Mejias.

An investigation is ongoing.

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-799-7233, or in Central Florida, the Harbor House 24-hour crisis hotline at 407-886-2856. 

Check back for updates.

 

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