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Georgia first-grade teacher, 24, is found dead by the road in Mexico while on vacation

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A first-grade teacher in Atlanta, who traveled to Mexico for vacation last month, was found dead by the roadside in Guadalajara 10 days after she was last seen, leading to her boyfriend’s arrest.

The body of Alexandra Morales, 24, who taught at Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was discovered Nov. 9 in a rental car.

Morales was last seen on October 30, when she attended a concert by the band Codiciado at the Telmex location in Zapopan, five miles outside Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Her boyfriend, Fidel Barragan, 28, was arrested on charges of aggravated disappearance

Atlanta-area teacher Alexandra Morales, 24 (left), was found dead Nov. 9 in a rental car in Guadalajara, Mexico. Her boyfriend, Fidel Barragan, 28 (right), was arrested on charges of aggravated disappearance

Mexican authorities subsequently arrested Morales’ friend, 28-year-old Fidel Barragan, on charges of aggravated disappearance, but local law enforcement officials have not ruled out more serious charges, including murder.

Barragan will appear in court for the first time in Mexico later on Friday.

Speaking exclusively with Telemundo AtlantaMorales’ uncle, Ostin Cuenca, said Barragan’s arrest is just the beginning and others may have played a role in her death. He urged authorities in the US to follow up on his niece’s case to ensure justice is served.

Cuenca said that after Morales attended the October 30 concert, her family tried to call her, but her phone was turned off. She was formally reported missing by relatives on November 5.

Morales was last seen alive on October 30 at a concert held at the Telmex arena in Zapopan, Mexico (pictured)

Morales was last seen alive on October 30 at a concert held at the Telmex arena in Zapopan, Mexico (pictured)

Morales’ father and one of her brothers traveled to Mexico to transport her body back to the US for burial.

Benefield Elementary School Principal Shonda Gipson-Stevens told: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Morales had taken personal leave in October, but had not returned to her class as planned last week.

She was hired to teach first grade in 2019 after graduating from Georgia State University. After learning of Morales’ passing, Gipson-Stevens sent a letter to the parents sharing the tragic news with them.

After they were unable to reach her, Morales' family reported her missing on November 5.

After they were unable to reach her, Morales’ family reported her missing on November 5.

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

Parent Maria Palacios related: CBS46 that her six-year-old daughter burst into tears when she learned that her teacher was not coming back.

Palacios said her child had a special affinity with Morales because she was her first bilingual teacher.

Morales has taught at Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia since 2019

Morales has taught at Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia since 2019

“It was very important to her to have a bilingual Latina teacher,” Palacios said. “She was the first teacher she personally identified with, and it was the first teacher my daughter said, ‘I want to be a teacher, like Mrs. Morales.’

One of Morales’ fraternity sisters has a GoFundMe campaign to help her family with her latest expenses.”

“Alexa was adored by her parents and loved by her two brothers,” Gabriela Rojas wrote in the description. “She had a passion for adventure and traveling the world was her joy. She was the most caring teacher to all of her students and her first grade babies will miss her very much.

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