Man Faces Murder Charges in Brutal Killing of Girlfriend and Her Daughter

A Florida man, Angel Gabriel Cuz-Choc, 31, is facing two counts of first-degree murder with a weapon following the brutal killing of his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter. The victims, identified as Amalia Coc Choc de Pec, 36, and Estrella Anastasia Pec Coc, were found dead in their mobile home in Dover, near Tampa.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on Wednesday evening regarding a deceased female. Upon arrival, they discovered a bloody handprint on the side of the mobile home, indicating a struggle. The woman was found dead in the backyard, while the child was found dead inside the home.

Cuz-Choc had fled the scene, leading to an 18-hour manhunt that concluded on Thursday morning. A police dog located the suspect in dense vegetation nearby. The sheriff’s office released body camera footage of the arrest.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, during a news conference, stated that the suspect would face the full force of the criminal justice system for the “heinous and vile murders.” He confirmed that Cuz-Choc was romantically involved with the woman, but had no connection to the child, whose father resides in Guatemala.

Sheriff Chronister revealed that the suspect had recently entered the U.S. unlawfully, a fact discovered in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Further details about his history remain limited as the investigation is still in its early stages. Officials are also investigating whether the victims had entered the U.S. unlawfully.

The sheriff commended his deputies for swiftly apprehending the suspect, thereby easing the tension in the neighborhood. A perimeter of up to 3 miles had been established, as authorities believed the suspect had a head start. The murders are believed to have occurred around 3:40 p.m., but the sheriff’s office was not alerted until a roommate discovered the bodies at 5:30 p.m.

The search for the suspect involved bloodhounds on the ground and helicopters in the air. Residents were advised to stay indoors and be vigilant for any unusual activity. Upon his capture, Cuz-Choc was found with cash and his cellphone, which he had used to attempt to contact his employer, his brother, and friends. All of them declined to assist him, according to the sheriff.

Cuz-Choc confessed to both murders during interviews with detectives following his arrest, the sheriff’s office reported.