Autopsy for beheaded mother inconclusive on her cause of death

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - An autopsy report released Friday for Graciela Acosta Licon, the woman who was found beheaded in her west El Paso apartment allegedly at the hands of her own son reveal few details about how she was actually killed.

The El Paso County Medical Examiner ruled her death has homicide by unspecified means, ultimately ruling that she could not determine whether Acosta Licon had been killed before or after her son, Fernando Alarcon, allegedly beheaded her in her west El Paso apartment.

Acosta Licon was found inside her apartment on April 20th in the 5600 block of Suncrest after a family friend went to check on her after not hearing from her in several days. At the apartment, the family friend met with Alarcon, who refused to let the woman inside.

Alarcon was allegedly spotted leaving the apartment shortly thereafter with what the witness described as a heavy duffel bag. He was captured in La Mesa, NM on April 21 after a Doña Ana County Sheriff's Deputy spotted a Jeep matching the description of Alarcon's vehicle driving with a flat tire. He reportedly had a rifle in the backseat.

The autopsy of Graciela Acosta Licon revealed that she had not been shot, and she had been completely decapitated between the C5 and C6 vertebrae at the base of the neck. The Medical Examiner also noted other injuries such as petechial hemorrhaging in the face consistent with asphyxiation. She also had abrasions on her chin and a cut on her wrist.

The Medical Examiner noted that she was in a form of decomposition consistent with having been dead for a period of time. Court documents related to the case show that Acosta Licon hadn't been heard from or seen in the four days prior to her death, but the ME was unable to identify the time of death.

What is certainly clear from the autopsy report is that it is unclear whether Acosta Licon was beheaded after her death or if her death in itself was a result of the decapitation.

Alarcon was extradited from Doña Ana County on May 11, 2017 and is still incarcerated at the El Paso County Detention Center where he is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.



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