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Murder Suspects Who Allegedly Cut Off GPS Monitors On Christmas Day Found In Cambodia
After two months on the run, murder suspects Nina Marano and her wife Lisa Dykes have been arrested in Cambodia.
A married Texas couple accused with a third suspect of killing a Seattle woman have been detained in Cambodia after a couple of months on the run together.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed to Oxygen.com that they "assisted Cambodian law enforcement last week in arresting Nina Marano and Lisa Dykes."
Marano, 50, her wife, Dykes, 58 and Charles Beltran, 32, have all been indicted on murder charges in the October 2021 death of Marisela Botello-Valadez.
Botello-Valadez, 23, reportedly traveled to Texas from Seattle last autumn to visit a friend, according to a statement from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. During that visit, she took a Lyft from his apartment on Oct. 4 to meet other friends at a nightclub. She never returned to her friend's apartment and subsequently missed her flight home.
Botello-Valadez's body was discovered on March 24 in a densely wooded area in Wilmer, Texas, according to a statement from the Dallas Police. She had been stabbed to death.
Marano was arrested the following day in Dallas; Dykes was arrested in Florida on March 27; and Beltran was arrested on April 2 in Utah by the U.S. Marshals North Texas Violent Fugitive Task Force, according to the police. The two women paid their $500,000 bonds in May and were required to wear ankle monitors; Beltran remains incarcerated. All three were indicted in June on murder charges.
It’s not clear what relationship the suspects may have had to Botello-Valadez but investigators allege that cell phone records placed the victim at a residence with all three suspects on the day she was last known to be alive.
Court documents filed last month and obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram alleged that Marano and Dykes removed their GPS tracker monitors on Christmas Day. However, it wasn't until Jan. 4th that officials learned that they had both removed the devices and fled the jurisdiction, local outlet WFAA reports.
Dykes’ lawyer, Heath Harris, told the Dallas Morning News on Saturday that their time on the run didn’t necessarily mean the pair are guilty.
“I don’t believe they fled because they felt they were guilty of murder,” Harris said. “I believe they fled because they are concerned for their safety and they didn’t want to have to cooperate against the co-defendant.”
Harris had previously told Fox News that the batteries in his client's GPS monitor died.
"I hope that they can explain to the judge why they haven't stayed in contact with the electronic monitoring people,” he said last month. “And when the time comes for us to go to trial, they'll be able to tell the story as far as that is concerned."