Husband of slain teen mom arrested

26-year-old arrested in South Florida in beating death

Published On: Apr 15 2013 03:40:01 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 15 2013 06:10:00 PM EDT
Apartment of slain teen mother
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The husband of an 18-year-old mother who was found dead last week in her apartment has been arrested in South Florida, Jacksonville police said Monday.

Jose Valle, 26, is charged with murder in the killing of Rosa Garcia. Police said she was beaten and strangled to death.

Investigators had been looking for her husband since her death.

Police said Valle was working the previous night and started drinking. When he got home, he and Garcia got into an argument, and he killed her, police said.

Investigators said Valle went to his sister's house on Atlantic Boulevard and gave her the keys to the house and his 2-year-old daughter, then said someone needed to go check on Garcia. When the sister got to the home, she found Garcia dead.

Police said Valle fled to Palm Beach County, and they found and arrested him Saturday at his sister's house.

Valle will be transferred back to Jacksonville.

Police said he's been deported back to Mexico twice before, once in June 2009 from California for domestic violence and once in January 2011 from Texas. Police said there was no history of domestic violence between Valle and Garcia.

Garcia worked at La Nopalera in Jacksonville Beach. While neighbors say they didn't know her well, they said they would often see Garcia, her husband and daughter outside.

"I'm pretty much relieved because they got the man, so I can feel a little bit better living in my apartment," neighbor Miriam Romero said.

The couple's 2-year-old daughter was taken into the care of the Department of Children and Families.