Instead of spring break at the beach, Kayria Rosales, a science teacher at Red Mountain High School, has been stuck in a cramped Mexican jail since March 11.
“My sister was arrested in Mexico for accidentally bringing a gun into the country,” said Audra Rosales Ward, on a GoFundMe.com page raising funds for her sister’s legal help.
Ward said Taylor and two friends “were heading to Rocky Point for some spring break fun and to meet up with another group of friends. Unfortunately, during her quick packing for Rocky Point, Kayria grabbed a bag that she forgot had a gun stored in. She didn’t check her bag and just threw her thing together quickly as Rocky Point was a last-minute plan.”
During a search at the border crossing, the gun was discovered and the three East Valley tourists were arrested. Her friends, Brandon Griffin and Mike Corder, were released after more than a week in jail.
“Thank you to everyone for all the love and support finally free and on the way home,” Griffin posted March 19.
The same day, Ward posted an update on the GoFundMe page: “Mike and Brandon are back on U.S. soil! Now that they are free, we can focus on getting Kayria home! We are anticipating a large bond, so we increased our goal. Thank you to everyone for your donations, love, and support.”
Last year, Rosales posted about herself on her school’s website: “I am an Arizona native and grew up here in east Mesa. I attended Skyline High School, class of 2010, where I cheered and danced!”
She said she started her teaching career at Millennium High School in Goodyear, then took a position at Red Mountain High three years ago.
Ward started the GoFundMe site March 12. She has raised more than $16,000, with a goal of $27,000.
Responding to an email from the Tribune, Ward said her sister faces a “potential” two-month sentence.
“Our information is changing daily,” Ward added. “We just got a new lawyer that seems to be better at negotiating or at least has most connections to negotiate with. We are finding out that in Mexico law is about who you know. Connections are more valuable than knowledge and degrees.”
Ward posted an update, saying the new lawyer “is in the works of getting her out. He has managed to get her no more jail time and just a fine. All we are waiting on is approval from a judge. Everyone cross your fingers and pray! She should be home shortly.”