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Nevada Man Accused Of Poisoning Woman With Pool Cleaner And Encasing Her In Concrete
Police believe that a body found in a concrete structure in the Las Vegas desert is Esmeralda Gonzalez, who went missing earlier this spring.
A Nevada man is accused of injecting an adult entertainer with pool cleaner, strangling her, and dumping her body — which he allegedly encased in concrete — in the desert.
Christopher Prestipino, 45, has been charged with first degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and murder, according to online court documents.
Detectives suspect that the body found set in a concrete structure located in a remote desert area outside Las Vegas on Oct. 8 belongs to Esmerelda Gonzalez, 24, who has been missing since May, according to KTNV. A coroner hasn’t yet identified the body.
Prosecutors said another woman, Cassandra Garrett, is also believed to have helped Prestipino carry out the killing, but as of Wednesday she hadn’t yet been arrested, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Prestipino is believed to have previously been captured by surveillance footage purchasing concrete mix at a Home Depot around the time of Gonzalez’s disappearance, according to KTNV.
“Prestipino rented a U-Haul, and the victim’s body was dumped in the desert,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly wrote in court documents, obtained by the Review-Journal.
The 24-year-old woman, who had been reported missing on May 31, was last seen by residents walking around her neighborhood in high heels and lingerie. Gonzalez, who appeared distraught and confused leading up to her disappearance, supposedly suffered from mental health problems.
"We feel it's very important for the public to understand how vulnerable she is," the woman's brother, Juan Gonzalez, said at the time, according to KZTV.
Surveillance footage later captured Gonzalez trying to gain entry to a home less than a mile from Prestipino’s residence, according to the Review-Journal.
“The occupants awoke and advised Esmeralda she was at the wrong house,” Weckerly, the Clark County prosector, added. “Esmeralda’s gait was unsteady and she appeared disoriented.”
Gonzalez, who reportedly worked in the adult entertainment industry, maintained a viral presence on Instagram. Her account had more than 300,000 Instagram followers, according to the Review-Journal.
In summer, authorities reportedly received a tip that Prestipino could be Gonzalez’s killer. Another witness told authorities that the 45-year-old confided in him he was the woman’s murderer and that he had “ended up getting her high on methamphetamine,” court documents claimed. After having a bad trip, she allegedly threatened to report him to police.
Prosecutors claimed Prestipino tied Gonzalez up to a “bedpost for an extended period of time” before allegedly punching the woman in the face, strangling her, and injecting her with pool cleaner.
Prestipino’s girlfriend, Lisa Mort, 31, was also charged with concealing a felon in connection to the case, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com. She was arrested earlier this summer on unrelated charges.
Prestipino is currently being held without bail at a Clark County jail.