Georgia 1st-grade teacher found dead in Mexico, boyfriend arrested
Georgia 1st-grade teacher found dead in Mexico, boyfriend arrested

Update: Mexican authorities have arrested Fidel Barragan, the 28-year-old boyfriend of Georgia school teacher Alexandra Morales who was found dead in Guadalajara. Barragan was charged with aggravated disappearance but more charges may be forthcoming.


Karina Mazhukhina

The Charlotte Observer

A 24-year-old Georgia teacher who was last seen at a concert was found dead in Mexico, authorities said.

Benefield Elementary School teacher Alexandra Morales was found dead Nov. 9 after she was last seen at a concert near Guadalajara on Oct. 30, 11Alive and other news outlets reported.

The circumstances leading up to Morales’ death are under investigation, CBS46 reported.

Principal Shonda Gipson-Stevens told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Morales had taken personal leave but did not resume her teaching duties late last week as planned.

A substitute had been helping teach her first-grade class along with the school’s other first-grade teachers, Gipson-Stevens told the newspaper.

Morales joined the school in 2019 and has “touched so many lives, both students and staff,” during her time there, Gipson-Stevens told McClatchy News.

Shortly after receiving news of Morales’ death, Gipson-Stevens notified families of students in her class “so they could comfort their child,” she said.

“We know this loss touches many in our school community and we want to support our students and staff members during this difficult time,” Gipson-Stevens said. “Our counselors are here to listen, to talk, to assist with the questions, and to help with the emotions that accompany this type of loss.”

Parent Maria Palacios said that her 6-year-old daughter had a special connection with Morales because she was her first bilingual teacher, CBS46 reported.

“Before I could get the words out, my daughter was crying already,” Palacios told the outlet. “I had to respond, explaining what it means to not come back, that Ms. Morales was not coming back.”

McClatchy News reached out to the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara on Nov. 11 but has not heard back.

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