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Crime News Breaking News

Las Vegas Woman Charged With Murder After Elderly Aunt Found Dead On Side Of Road

Rosamaria Moreno allegedly told authorities she had last seen her 79-year-old aunt on Dec. 17, but didn't realize she had gone missing for four days and continued to log caretaking hours in her absence. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Rosamaria Moreno Pd

A Las Vegas woman has been charged with murder after police say she dropped her 79-year-old aunt off on the side of the road but told authorities she didn’t realize the woman was missing for four days.

Rosamaria Moreno is now facing an enhanced murder charge after her elderly aunt, Maura Nava Flores, was found dead on the side of a North Las Vegas road by a passerby just after midnight on Dec. 18, according to local station KLAS.  

North Las Vegas Police spokesman Alex Cuevas told The Las Vegas Review-Journal the woman, later identified by the Clark County coroner’s office, showed “no signs of life” and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 79-year-old had no visible injuries or indications of struggle.

Hypothermia is being considered a contributing factor in Flores’ death, according to a report from the coroner’s office obtained by the local paper.

Moreno allegedly told authorities that she had last seen her aunt on Dec. 17, but didn’t realize she was missing for four days and never reported her missing, according to a criminal complaint obtained by KLAS.

Moreno had been getting paid from the state for caring for her aunt but, on the last day Flores was alive, she had reportedly been angry with the state for stopping her compensation and reached out to the Nevada Aging and Disability, according to the criminal complaint.

The agency told police that they had stopped the payments because they weren’t allowed inside Moreno’s house to check on Flores.

Moreno allegedly told police Flores had a history of “wandering off” and said the 79-year-old had suffered from Alzheimer’s, dementia and schizophrenia.

However, when police confronted her with surveillance footage of her vehicle near the area where Flores was found, she told police that Flores had wanted to leave her house, so they drove to a Salvation Army shelter, authorities said.

Moreno allegedly told police the shelter “looked full” so she dropped her aunt off on the side of the road.

She was “adamant” Flores was still alive when she drove away, according to the report.

Moreno is facing an enhanced murder charge because her aunt’s age. In the state of Nevada, the sentencing can be enhanced when a murder victim is over the age of 60, Law & Crime reports.