New Jersey ‘wine-chiller killer’ busted in Houston: authorities


A New Jersey woman charged with beating her wife to death with a wine chiller has been arrested in Houston – some 1,600 miles away, authorities announced Thursday.

Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus, 48, was taken into custody Wednesday as a fugitive from justice in the death of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, 32, who was found dead Sunday in an upstairs bedroom in the couple’s Brick apartment, Ocean County prosecutors and Brick Township police said.

“It is our understanding that Gavilanez-Alectus traveled to Houston, from New York City by bus,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said in a statement.

A warrant was issued for the woman’s arrest Monday after an autopsy found Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus died by homicide. She was allegedly beaten by her partner with a “cylindrical container used for the purpose of chilling wine,” authorities said Tuesday.

Law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the United States Marshals Service, the NYPD and Houston police assisted in apprehending Gavilanez-Alectus, who fled after the couple’s apartment after the alleged slaying, Billhimer said.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of our federal law enforcement partners, as well as our law enforcement partners in Houston,” Billhimer said. “It is extremely satisfying when law enforcement works together and we are able to get a dangerous person like Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus into custody.”

Proceedings to extradite Gavilanez-Alectus back to New Jersey will start immediately, the prosecutor said.

“Justice for Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus weighs heavily on all of our minds,” Billhimer’s statement concluded.

The alleged killing happened just a week after Gavilanez-Alectus praised her partner in a Mother’s Day Facebook post, thanking her for the “uncountable ways” she improved her life.

“Mi amor gracias for all the uncountable ways you make this little crazy family … and my entire life better with every moment,” the post read. “[I’m] truly blessed that you are my wife.”