A 24-year old model named Esmeralda Gonzales whose disappearance was reported by her family members in May, apparently met her demise after being strangled and injected with a poisonous chemical, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports citing the recently released court documents.
According to the media outlet, the authorities believe that a body "encased in a concrete and wooden structure", which was found in the Las Vegas desert on 8 October, belongs to Gonzales, and are currently attempting to identify the cadaver via DNA test.
Gonzales’ alleged killer, a 45-year old man named Christopher Prestipino who has been charged with first degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and murder.
The prosecution also apparently identified another suspect - Cassandra Bascones, "also known as Cassandra Garrett, Cassandra Tran and Nikki Hart" – who is "believed to have participated in the killing" but hadn’t been arrested yet.
"Prestipino rented a U-Haul, and the victim’s body was dumped in the desert", Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly reportedly wrote in court papers. "Prestipino and Garrett have been panicked because they left the rented U-Haul dolly at the body dump location".
According to the prosecution, one witness told the police that "Esmeralda was at Christopher’s house, and he ended up getting her high on methamphetamine".
"Christopher was not aware of Esmeralda’s mental problems, and she started acting bizarre and speaking in the devil’s tongue", the witness reportedly added.
The model ended up being kept at Prestipino’s residence, "left tied up to a bedpost for an extended period of time", with her threatening to call the police over the drugs she was given, before Prestipino attempted to strangle her.
"He thought she was dead, but she woke up," the document states, with the media outlet noting that the investigators believe Gonzales may have been poisoned later.
In June, Prestipino also allegedly called a family friend to help him move "wooden box full of concrete" into a U-Haul truck, with the documents noting that "Chris was acting strange, and turned the radio up loud because he thought the FBI was listening."
However, the media outlet points out that "there is no indication that authorities know how the concrete and wooden structure and body were transported to the desert" where they were eventually discovered.