Los Angeles County Jail officials have released on bail one of two key figures in the homicide investigation of Alycia Mesiti, whose body was found last month buried in the back yard of a Ceres home where the 14-year-old lived when she disappeared more than two years ago.
Ceres police detectives were traveling to Los Angeles on Tuesday to question Shelly Walker-Welborn, 40, whom Ceres police consider a "person of interest" in Alycia's death.
The girl's father, Mark Edward Mesiti, 41, was being held Tuesday at the Los Angeles County Jail on $500,000 bail in an unrelated case.
Ceres police spokesman Sgt. Jose Berber said no charges have been filed against Mesiti in connection with his daughter's death, but detectives consider him a possible suspect.
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He said the Stanislaus County district attorney's office will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Mesiti.
Walker-Welborn was Mesiti's live-in girlfriend when Alycia disappeared in 2006. The couple was living together in a Los Angeles apartment when police served a search warrant at their home March 28.
Ceres and Los Angeles police investigators said they found a methamphetamine lab inside the apartment, where the couple was living with Walker-Welborn's 12-year-old daughter.
Mesiti and Walker-Welborn were booked at the Los Angeles County Jail on drug and child endangerment charges.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Walker-Welborn was released April 1 on $500,000 bail. Berber said Ceres police detectives have remained in contact with her since she was released.
"She is not considered a flight risk," Berber said.
Police said Walker-Welborn reported Alycia missing as a runaway on Aug. 15, 2006, but she could not elaborate when investigators asked then where Alycia had gone.
On March 25, investigators found the girl's remains buried beneath the lawn just a few feet from a concrete patio, digging a pit about 6 feet by 6 feet wide and about 4 feet deep.
Berber said Ceres police haven't receive a report yet from the Stanislaus County coroner on how and when Alycia died. He said investigators should receive that report within two weeks.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.