A Las Vegas man accused of murdering an adult entertainer whose body was found encased in concrete in the desert has denied killing her.
Christopher Prestipino, 45, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder for the death of Esmeralda Gonzalez, 24.
Gonzalez’ body was discovered earlier this month inside a concrete crate in a desert area about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Journal-Review. A wooden structure had been built around the concrete crate and more concrete was poured over it in an alleged attempt to conceal the body of Gonzalez, who had been missing since May. Once the crate was opened, her body was found wrapped in a plastic tarp and blankets with white tape around her head and neck.
Prestipino was indicted last week on murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy charges in connection with her death. Both Prestipino’s roommate, Casandra Garrett, 39, and his girlfriend, Lisa Mort, 31, also face charges in connection with the model’s death. Mort faces a charge of aiding a felon in court next while Garrett faces murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges.
Investigators accused Prestipino and Garrett of killing Gonzalez together by strangling her and injecting her with pool cleaner, according to the Journal-Review.
Before killing her, the roommates allegedly kidnapped Gonzalez and held her against her will, according to KSNV in Las Vegas.
Garrett is currently jailed in Wisconsin and is awaiting extradition to Nevada.
Gonzalez worked in the adult entertainment industry and had over 300,000 followers on Instagram. A motive for the killing is unclear, as is the relationship between her and her alleged killers, but she was practically their neighbor. She lived about one-tenth of a mile from Prestipino and Garrett.
It’s not clear if the suspects have lawyers who can speak on their behalf.
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