FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ)– A Burger King employee is murdered in Frederick. Now, police say the seven-month search for her killer is over.

Weijia Jiang explains the suspect faces federal charges, too. That’s because at the time of the murder, police say he was in the country illegally.

On March 18, the Burger King on Frederick’s East Patrick Street was a bloody crime scene. Officers arrived to find the assistant manager, 32-year-old Jacinta “Patty” Ayala, shot to death.

Now, police say it was at the hands of her former co-worker, 21-year-old Jose Reyes Mejia-Varela. On Friday, they announced a slew of charges against him, including first-degree murder.

“There wasn’t like we had an eyewitness saying he did it,” Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick County Police. “This was a who-done-it, putting the pieces together. Our detectives did that.”

While looking for a killer, detectives also uncovered unsettling details about Mejia-Varela.

In June 2009, he was deported from Frederick to El Salvador, following an attempted robbery conviction. But at some point after that, federal agents say he snuck back in.

“Everybody I know is up in arms about it, and there’s a lot that needs to be done,” Vernon Eyler of Frederick said.

Police say it was after Mejia-Varela entered the U.S illegally for the second time he assumed a new identity and a job at Burger King. They say he had been laid off for several months when he came back to rob it.

“Hit close to home,” Tracy Locke said. “I lived in Frederick seven years, that’s why I moved out to the country.”

Police say Mejia-Varela and Ayala worked at the Burger King together in the past. They don’t know if he was targeting her, or if he was just out to get cash.

In a statement Ayala’s family said: “Patty was a loving mother to her three children, girlfriend, sister and friend. Today, we are grateful for the news of the arrest, however, the pain of losing Patty is still very real and fresh.”

Next week, Mejia-Varela will be sentenced in federal court for illegally re-entering the country after being deported. Then, Frederick police will serve an arrest warrant.

Mejia-Varela also faces armed robbery, assault and theft charges.

Comments (11)
  1. KottaMan says:

    ANOTHER example of how Fredrick County is over-run with illegals. No thanks to the U.S. wimpy posture on illegals, by the way. The Sheriff has been rightfully aggressive on trying to round up illegals in the county and all he gets is a hard time and obstruction form the Federal government.

  2. Jerry says:

    Thank O’Malley for letting them stay and thank Casa de Maryland for helping them also. As is we don’t have enough crime ? When the hell will somebody do something right. Forget O’Malley he want’s to help them with there schooling.

  3. PO PO PO says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if for once that someone beheld accountable for this happening. Let say omillie who is so proud of his illegal friends

  4. Deport Illegals says:

    Illegals are everywhere and nothing is being done. It seems one of the people harmed by these illegals should sue the state and federal government for failing to enforce the law. It must be awful easy to cross the borders undetected. We must show our displeasure at the polls, but that will not happen in the liberal state of Maryland.

    1. Jerry says:

      Deport IllegaIs agree 100% .

  5. Jerry says:

    I mean i agree with Deport Illegals.

  6. Keep it legal says:

    you can’t be encouraging homicide like it seems you just did up there. You’re inviting an investigation and surveillance by the authorities. While I hate illegal immigration and a government that seems to support it so that their rich business owner friends can have a cheap source of labor for their slave driving businesses, I want to keep the campaign against them non-violent and legal. You’ll hurt our cause by inciting violence.

    1. outkast says:

      The world knows how violent americans are ! Just make them legal and move on with our lives !

  7. Paul Eric Kilmon says:

    It’s sad to read empty-headed comments, especially from those who hate (hating yourself more than anyone else). Let’s look at that crimes committed by people who are legal citizens, they surpass those of illegal immigrants.

    We are always looking to blame. Yes, the immigration problem needs work, but not with hateful attitudes and ignorance. Sadly, most of you have lost your humanity, thus your soul. Your selfishness is the only creed you know.

    Want to question why the world is in peril? It’s not because of illegal immigrants, or O’Malley (I’m not always a fan of his politics), the President (I’m not always a fan of his politics either). It’s because of your hate. It’s destructive.

    Lastly, I wonder what your ancestors would think of your comments. Many if not all fought to be in this country. How would they approach this topic?

    The dialogue must improve. Get a clue! There is no place at the table for haters, and your ignorance won’t be tolerated.

  8. moleman says:

    Mr. Kilmon, You speak like a man who has never lived in the world or if has, has been isolated & in a bubble. The work of a few like a ripple on the water from a stone affects us all directly & indirectly. Our ancestors who worked so hard to improve this land would never tolerate the B.S. that these illegals are pulling. My Father had to speak english, have a job & a place to stay so as not to be a burden when he enterd this country back in the 20’s. My we have fallen & you sir can go f…k yourself & preach to the Dali Lama.

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