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Crime News Murders

Model Christy Giles' Mom 'Pleasantly Surprised' After Grand Jury Indicts Suspect On Murder Charge In Her And Friend's Deaths

David Pearce is accused of killing Christy Giles and Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola after a Los Angeles party in November 2021. A second man is charged with being an accessory.

By Caitlin Schunn
Model Christy Giles Is Dead And Family Suspects Foul Play

A California man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday following a grand jury indictment charging him with murder in the drug overdose deaths of a model and her friend, according to Los Angeles station KABC.

David Pearce, 40, is accused of killing Christy Giles—a 24-year-old model—and her friend, Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola, 26. A second man, Brandt Osborn, 43, has been charged with two counts of being an accessory after the fact, according to KABC.

Giles and Cabrales-Arzola had been partying at a warehouse rave in Los Angeles County into the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2021. Their bodies were dumped later that day at two separate hospitals, according to KABC. Giles was found dead and Cabrales-Arzola unconscious, but in serious condition; she was comatose and her family took her off life support later that month.

RELATED: University of Idaho Suspect Reportedly Sent Series Of Messages To Victim On Instagram Before Killings

Pearce and Osborne were captured on surveillance video leaving the warehouse rave with Giles and Cabrales-Arzola around 5 a.m. on the day in question, before the group allegedly went to Pearce and Osborn’s Olympic Boulevard apartment, according to previous Oxygen.com reporting.

Christy Giles Instagram

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner classified both deaths as homicides, KABC reported. According to the department, Giles died of a mixture of cocaine, fentanyl, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (known as the “date rape drug” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) and ketamine. Cabrales-Arzola died of multiple organ failure with cocaine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy) and other undetermined drugs found in her system.

Pearce was photographed partying with Cabrales-Arzola at the rave, and a friend of both women reported seeing Pearce provide the women with something that looked like cocaine, according to an affidavit obtained by the Los Angles Times. Back at Pearce’s apartment, Giles texted Cabrales-Arzola “Let’s go” along with a wide-eyed emoji around 5:20 a.m., and Cabrales-Arzola responded “yes” and then “I’ll call an Uber, 10 min. away.” The Uber arrived at the apartment, but no one came out.

Two men driving a Toyota Prius with the license plate removed later dropped Giles’ body off at the Southern California Hospital in Culver City—telling medical personnel they found her passed out on the curb, and were acting as good Samaritans, according to the affidavit.

When investigators questioned the men, Osborn denied seeing the women take any drugs. He also claimed he woke up to find the women unresponsive but “making noises” in the apartment, but when they were “getting progressively worse” he panicked. He allegedly told police he and Pearce decided to take them to separate hospitals because they weren’t sure “how it would look” to bring them to the same place.

A social media post of Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola

Pearce was also charged in December of 2021 with sexually assaulting multiple women, in unrelated incidents dating back to 2010.

“We believe it shows his disdain for human life—his M.O.—and the fact that he kept escalating, escalating until he actually took two lives,” Giles’ mother, Dusty, told Oxygen.com. “Even then, instead of calling for help, he decided to throw them away like garbage in front of emergency rooms.”

Dusty Giles said she was “shocked” to learn of the indictment, which was returned by a grand jury on Dec. 14, but kept sealed until Tuesday.

“Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised,” Giles told Oxygen.com. “I told the D.A. I was glad we were not aware this had occurred because we would have been nervous wrecks, on pins and needles, while waiting for the grand jury decision.”

Giles said her family has been under stress for months waiting to hear developments in the case.

“We’ve been in the arraignment portion for so long because David Pearce kept not entering a plea, and changing lawyers, and it kept dragging out and out and out and it felt like it would never end,” Giles said. “We feel like the big cog of the wheel of justice has made a full circle, entering into the pre-trial portion.”

The Giles family lives in Corner, Alabama—but Dusty Giles said the family needs donations to be able to travel back and forth for court hearings and the trial. She’s put together a GoFundMe to help with travel expenses.

Giles told Oxygen.com her daughter began modeling after she was scouted at the age of 14 while winning runner-up in the Miss Alabama Teen USA pageant. She said 13 agencies wanted to sign Christy, and she chose Wilhemina Models. Christy traveled to several cities, including Miami and London, and first lived in a model apartment in Los Angeles when she was 15 years old. She moved to L.A. permanently just after her 18th birthday.

Christy met her husband, Jan Cilliers, through a mutual friend in L.A. and eloped with him at Burning Man in Nevada on Aug. 28, 2019.

“Christy was a true southern girl, but she would have been completely at home at Woodstock. She was my flower child southern belle—that was her personality. Both were aware life was not finite, and decided why wait,” Dusty Giles told Oxygen.com.

Although she never legally changed her name after her marriage, Dusty said Christy’s name is Giles-Cilliers on her tombstone.

Pearce and Osborn are scheduled to be in Los Angeles court on Feb. 9.

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