Thinking Aloud: Public involvement a must for our safety

&8220;He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.&8221;


Quick work by the Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s Office and tips from the public helped take an alleged murderer off the streets.

Mark Anthony Carruba, 32, of Alabaster, a convicted sex offender has been formally charged with the murder of Sheree Gail Valenzuela, also of Alabaster.

Reported missing on April 10 by her sister, Valenzuela’s body was found off Shelby County 97 between Calera and Columbiana.

Valenzuela had been strangled to death, according to initial autopsy reports, at the hands of a vicious criminal.

Deputies arrested Carruba, her accused murderer, on unrelated charges of violating the Sex Offender Act, with formal murder charges coming soon thereafter. He remains in the Shelby County Jail on $1 million bond.

It always comes as a shock when violent crime pierces our normally idealistic lifestyle here in Shelby County.

We always seem to think that &8220;things like that&8221; don&8217;t happen around here.

But they do.

And as our population increases, so too will the occurrence of violent crime.

While Sheriff Chris Curry has taken time to thank the public for leads and tips that helped take an accused murderer off the streets of Shelby County, citizen&8217;s of our community need to be thankful that we have highly trained and motivated law enforcement officers like Sheriff Curry and those that serve with him.

Potentially cracking a murder case in a matter of days is no small feat; greater still is the bitter-sweet relief those directly impacted by this murder must feel knowing that the crime may already be solved and that the perpetrator is well on his way to seeing justice served.

We can hope and pray that Valenzuela&8217;s family and friends can find peace in the days and months to come and that her murderer finds swift justice.

Anyone with further information regarding Valenzuela&8217;s murder or any other crime is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 669-4181 or by going to and selecting “report Criminal Activity.