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Georgia man charged with strangling and killing pregnant friend and unborn baby is arrested after weeks on the run

Max Rocael Calel Sanic (Gainesville Police Dept.)

Max Rocael Calel Sanic (Gainesville Police Dept.)

Following weeks on the run, a 20-year-old man in Georgia has been arrested for allegedly strangling a 22-year-old pregnant woman to death last month, killing both her and her unborn fetus.

Max Rocael Calel Sanic was taken into custody this week and is charged with one count of malice murder and one count of felony feticide in the slaying of Juana Jose, authorities announced.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, Sanic turned himself over to authorities Monday morning. He was then booked and transported to the Hall County Jail where he is currently being held without bond, jail records show.

The investigation into Sanic began just under a month ago, the department said in a previous press release. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on Sunday, Jan. 29 responded to a 911 call regarding a medical call at a residence located in the 1100 block of Cooley Drive. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders located Juana and transported her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“Due to the nature of the call and suspicion surrounding the death, investigators began looking into the case,” police said earlier this month. “An autopsy revealed that Jose died by strangulation. Sadly, Jose’s unborn child died as a result of the murder.”

Just over a week after the incident, investigators said they had obtained a warrant for Sanic’s arrest. He was described as a “known associate of [Jauna] Jose,” in the release. Police have not officially released any additional information on the nature of the relationship between Sanic and Juana.

According to a report from Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA-TV, Jauna’s brother, Jaimie Carmelo Jose, was the one who found his sister dead in her bedroom.

“When I woke up, she was lying in the bed. I went to wake her up like I do every day,” Jaimie reportedly told the station. “She was lifeless, she was dead.”

Jaimie also said that Sanic and his sister were not in a relationship, but that they were friends.

“I really don’t know what happened, maybe he got mad at her or something like that,” Jamie said. “They are friends, not dating. ”

One of Juana’s neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous, told WAGA that they were shocked to find out what had happened.

“My reaction was like oh my gosh, what is this world coming to because I’ve got two daughters, myself,” the neighbor reportedly said. “To hear that a woman who was pregnant, her and the baby died, that really crushed me that someone was willing to do that to them.”

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.