Advocates, mother of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon call for better laws
The mother of an 18-year-old woman who was found dead behind a barn in Sodus stood alongside immigration policy advocates on Tuesday morning to call for better protections and laws for immigrants.
Selena Hidalgo-Calderon's mother, Estela, issued a statement to be read at the event organized by the Workers' Center of Central New York in Syracuse. She did not attend the event herself.
At the news conference, the family and immigration advocates called for ways to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.
"What happened to Selena is preventable with different laws and policies," said Carly Fox, one of the staffers at the Worker Justice Center of New York.
Selena was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who came to the U.S. in 2016.
Advocates called on the community to make safer laws and policies for immigrants so they can seek help when needed.
The advocates read a statement on her behalf. She called Selena a "sweet, loving girl" and demanded justice.
"Immigrants are not evil, we come here to work," said Rebecca Fuentes, a spokesperson for the Hidalgo-Calderon family. "We are running from problems in our own country. The person who did this to my daughter is evil. It was so hard to think about my daughter full of life that life taken away from her."
Advocates also revealed that Selena had bought a car shortly before her death, risking her immigration status because she did not have a driver's license.
The search for Selena's 1-year-old son Owen. The Wayne County Sheriff's Office have suspended that search, but the investigation is ongoing. Investigators said they have not yet received any updates about Owen. The family has been in constant touch with the Sheriff's Office about the boy.
Selena's boyfriend, Everado Donoteo Reyes, who went by the alias Alberto Reyes, is charged with Evidence Tampering for allegedly burying her body. He is also facing federal charges for allegedly re-entering the United States illegally twice and having falsified identity documents.
Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts has said he believes Reyes was involved in Selena's death. However Reyes has not been charged with her death.