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Renton man sentenced to 16 years in prison for murdering woman in the Olympic National Forest

The victim's body was found off a logging road in the Olympic National Forest on Feb. 14, 2020.
Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
In this photo taken Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the Olympic Mountains are seen beyond a forest from Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park, near Port Angeles, Washington.

TACOMA, Wash — A Renton man was sentenced to over 16 years in prison Monday for killing a woman in the Olympic National Forest in February of 2020, according to the United States Attorney's Office. 

Prosecutors said Alejandro J. Aguilera Rojas, 25, was sentenced to 200 months in prison for second-degree murder. 

The victim, a resident of California, traveled to the Sequim area on Feb. 10, 2020, to meet with Aguilera Rojas, according to court records.

Court records indicated Aguilera Rojas was having a relationship with the victim that he was hiding from his wife and family. 

The victim's friends and family members told officials they contacted Aguilera Rojas, who provided conflicting information on the victim's whereabouts. 

After the victim did not contact her friends and family she was reported missing and found off a logging road in the Olympic National Forest on Feb. 14, 2020. 

Investigators said there were signs the victim was beaten and stabbed to death. A broken, bloody tequila bottle and knives were discovered alongside her body.

“This cruel and coldhearted attack robbed a family of a young and vibrant daughter, sister and niece,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Law enforcement, prosecutors, and our specially-trained crime victim advocates have worked diligently to get justice for the family of this young woman.”

Surveillance video at a Sequim convenience store determined the woman and Aguilera Rojas visited the store. Further investigation revealed Aguilera Rojas' cell phone and the woman's phone were in the same area of the murder on Feb. 10 and 11. Authorities later found the phones in an area near Aguilera Rojas' home. 

An autopsy from the King County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the victim's manner of death as a homicide and her cause of death to be multiple blunt and sharp force injuries.

Aguilera Rojas was booked into Clallam County Corrections after speaking with law enforcement on Feb. 19, 2020, less than a week after the woman was found dead. His case was prosecuted in federal court because the murder happened on federal land in the Olympic National Forest.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December 2021 before his sentencing. 

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