Maria, is Alex Cross's deceased wife and first love. Despite only being mentioned in the first eleven books in the series, Maria makes her very first appearance in a flashback setting in Cross. She is described as being "too short" and having a "beautiful smile". Before being killed, Maria was working as a social worker in Washington D.C. when she met Alex Cross for the very first time. They first met at St. Anthony's Hospital and fell in love soon after. They married and moved into an apartment together. Damon was born later in the marriage and Janelle was born sometime before Maria's death. Maria was revealed to be pregnant with their third child, during the events of Cross. When Alex came to pick up Maria from her work place, Maria was shot by an unknown sniper and died in Alex's arms. Her last words to Alex were that she loved him. It remains unknown if the shooter was aiming for Maria or Alex. After her death, Alex moved out of the apartment and back to his grandma's place. Maria's murderer was never caught, until the novel Cross, where it is revealed that a mob assassin named Jimmy Hats Galati, was responsible for killing Maria. John Sampson was the one to avenge Maria, to spare Alex from losing what was left of his soul. Maria has been the reason for Alex's moviation of taking on cases from the very beginning of the series. After the events of Cross, Alex has managed to let go of Maria, allowing himself to move on with his life.