Deputies make arrest in ‘brutal’ murder case involving woman found off Nexton Parkway

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Investigators with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a man who is accused of shooting his wife multiple times near the Nexton Parkway.

Deputies arrested 32-year-old Salin Mojica Hernandez and charged him with the Tuesday murder of 29-year-old Marie De La Cruz Chavarria. Hernandez was locked up at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

During a Friday court hearing, Hernandez was denied bond.

According to newly released investigative reports, detectives said surveillance video in the area showed Hernandez followed his wife in his truck, forced her to stop in the area of Brighton Park Boulevard in the Nexton community, and then shot her in her car. Arrest affidavits state when the victim got out of her car to escape, she was shot again by the suspect. An autopsy report states Chavarria was shot a total of six times.

A motorist heading to work saw the victim’s car on the side of the road, observed Chavarria on the ground next to the vehicle and called 911.

During the investigation into the shooting, deputies found three domestic related incidents between the suspect and the victim dating back to this past April, with the other two reported last year.

A preliminary investigation by the sheriff’s office revealed that Tuesday’s incident was domestic violence related.

“Domestic violence crimes can be some of the most heinous crimes that occur,” said Lewis who characterized the incident as a “brutal murder.” “We urge any victim of domestic violence to please come forward before it’s too late. There are resources that are available.”

Deputies interview Hernandez

Deputies said when they initially interviewed Hernandez, he told them he and his wife were having marital problems but were working on those issues. The investigative reports state he told investigators that his wife had left the home at 5 a.m. and that he remained at the house with their children, then dropped them off at a babysitter next door.

Court records state Hernandez then said he picked up two co-workers then drove to work.

However, deputies reported that tracking information on his truck showed inconsistencies with his story. In addition, the sheriff’s office said the suspect’s truck matched the vehicle that was spotted near Chavarria’s car as it entered Brighton Park Boulevard on the morning of the murder.

In addition, authorities reported that they found blood in the suspect’s vehicle and on tennis shoes which were found after emptying a dump trailer’s contents.

Additional interviews with witnesses

A witness told deputies that Hernandez had asked her husband two months ago where to buy a gun. According to the witness, days before the victim’s death, the suspect posted a picture of a handgun lying on a table on his Facebook account.

Detectives also spoke to the witness’ husband who also provided the same information and said the suspect wanted to know where to buy .9mm ammunition which which was the same caliber of bullets in the murder.

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