The Santa Muerte Case is a police investigation into a series of killings of people using Santa Muerta artifacts and rituals. The case in itself is the seventh major case in the series, with the previous major case being the Trinity Case and the next major case after this is the Barrel Girls Case.
Francisco Alfaro - Initially suspected of killing his wife Nina with a machete and arranging the Santa Muerta artifacts and then killing himself. Was later exonerated of the murder when another victim, Fauzi Goberi, had been found with his head chopped of.
The Fuentes Brothers - Were suspected of committing the murders based on DNA on a cigar found at the Fauzi murder crime scene. Were later confirmed as the killers when one of the brothers, Carlos, held a boy hostage and attempted to slit his throat with a machete.
History of Killers
Both Carlos and his brother Marco descend from Venezuela, much like many of the immigrants located in Miami, Florida. As such, both men were involved in a history of drug trafficking and made their way into the country to live a life of luxury...by killing people for their ATM money to pay for table service. They both held up in a local neighborhood apartment complex, dressing their apartment with Santa Muerte artifacts but went into hiding after that point.
Detectives on Case
This is one of Debra Morgan's top priority cases, in accordance with it she has the assistance of several other officers:
- Officer (then) Cira Manzon - Assisted from the first killing, as a field officer she made crucial observations and offered her language skills to try and catch the Fuentes Brothers.
- Detective Joseph "Joey" Quinn - Assisted in the later half of the investigation, was hunting Dexter Morgan and ended up suspended for the first half.
- Sergeant-Detective Angel Batista - Assisted from the beginning, he ran an observatory role as well as supervisor that instructed lower level officers on the field. He watched from a security van outside during the Club Mayan stakeouts.
- Lieutenant (then) Maria LaGuerta - Ran the political game regarding the whole Santa Muerte case. Unfortunately for her, it had a terrible fallout because of some poor decisions she made.
Other operatives involved in the case.
- Forensics specialist Vince Masuka - Working the bloody cases in Dexter's absence, he had to fill in for his role as the forensics specialist for the area. Dexter later arrived to give more feedback.
- Forensic Blood Splatter Analyst Dexter Morgan - Was on leave for the first half of the case after his wife's murder, then he returned to give observations that ultimately put Carlos Fuentes and Marco Fuentes into the homicide divisions sights. He however never personally took interest in the Santa Muerte case, instead focusing on Lumen Pierce and The Group (before it eventually became known as the Barrel Girls Case).
- Deputy-Chief Tom Matthews - Appeared midway through the investigation to observe from the sidelines how LaGuerta would handle her problems...ultimately, he offered nothing but criticism for the whole situation.
Daniel Ortese - One of the two first victims for the Fuentes brothers (and the fifth shown victim), he was making a frantic withdrawal from an ATM; 4 weeks before police realized he was killed along with his wife. There are machete wounds, but none of the Santa Muerte relics that were present in the Mrs. Alfaro and Fauzi murders.
Awilda Ortese - One of the two first victims for the Fuentes brothers (and the fourth shown victim), she was simply the wife of Daniel Ortese. There are machete wounds, the same as her husband.
Nina Alfaro - The first shown victim, she was Francisco Alfaro's wife and was the first professional kill by the brothers. Her head was detached from her body, with both her eyes and tongue cut out and left on display amongst Santa Muerte relics. Her body was left somewhere in the bushes nearby.
Francisco Alfaro - The second shown victim and originally thought to be the suspect of a murder-suicide with his wife. However, this is not the case as found out later but his head was still blown to bits by a shotgun, most likely by just one of the brothers.
Fauzi Goberi - The third shown victim, he is the only one that has been alive to talk with any characters. Unfortunately for him, he was beheaded and ends up much like Mrs. Alfaro with his head on display near his decapitated body.
Jandro Mendoza - An attempted victim, he was held hostage by Carlos Fuentes and had his neck slit...but survived and is able to speak just fine.
Yasmin Aragon - A young woman who knew the Fuentes brothers (though feared them at the same time). She works as an informant for Miami PD but gets caught up in the gunfire, becoming Marco Fuentes's victim by gunshot.
One partygoer is also killed during the shootout as a result of the bullets fired by the Fuentes brothers.
Fallout from Case
After the Club Mayan incident, informant Yasmin Aragon and an unnamed clubber were killed in the onslaught...as well as Carlos Fuentes and many people were hurt in the process. Ultimately it became a press nightmare trying to close off this case, needing to silence the whole thing LaGuerta pinned the poor decisions she made on Debra Morgan with Cira Manzon's assistance. The result was that Debra ended up in the fileroom after being practically fired, with Cira taking her spot as detective.
Closure of Case
It is unknown if the case if officially closed, because one of the Fuentes brothers is still alive, Marco Fuentes. He is on the run currently but had very little showing to begin with, so it is unknown where he has disappeared to.
Fate of Killer(s)
Of the two killers, Carlos Fuentes was the only one to die. He faced off Debra Morgan during the Club Mayan incident, threatening to kill a young woman... but Debra shot him in the forehead (correcting a mistake she made previously where a young man had his throat slit due to her reluctance to shoot). He died instantly... while his brother disappeared himself and continues to remain in hiding.