EL PASO, Texas — A 29-year-old El Paso mother who vanished back in July after going to a concert was killed by her concert date, police alleged Wednesday, although her body has not been recovered.
Police arrested 28-year old Ricardo Marquez and charged him with the murder of Erika Andrea Gaytan. He was booked Wednesday into the El Paso County Detention Facility under a million dollars bond.
“Her body has not been found, but based on forensic and other evidence gathered over the course of the investigation, detectives have reason to believe that she is deceased and was the victim of a murder,” said Sgt. Enrique Carillo.
While he did not elaborate, a police affidavit obtained by ABC-7 spells out the details of what investigators believed happened to Gaytan and the evidence gathered against Marquez.
Gaytan was last seen on the evening of July 13 after attending a concert at the El Paso County Coliseum with Marquez. He had claimed they parted ways later that night and Gaytan reportedly called an Uber.
But the affidavit claims Marquez actually drove Gaytan to his home in the 3600 block of Nehemiah, where they argued and he killed her.
The document indicated police seized a Jeep belonging to Marquez’s family that contained Gaytan’s blood in it; he allegedly transported her body in the rear cargo section of the vehicle to a desert area off East Montana where detectives believe he buried her using a shovel that they’ve also recovered.
In addition, the affidavit said police also found zip ties and sand-filled shoes during a search of Marquez’s home. Authorities believe both of those items are also linked to Gaytan’s death.
Foul play wasn’t initially suspected when Gaytan first went missing in July, although family members said she would have never run off and abandoned her 7-year-old son.
But a few days after police took a missing persons report, authorities issued an alert to the media calling Gaytan “endangered” and released a photo of her wearing a white dress and smiling on the night of the concert.
After she had been missing for about a month, police indicated they were tracking several leads and put out a renewed call to the public for information, saying, “Due to the amount of time Gaytan has been missing and the circumstances, her disappearance is considered suspicious.”
The affidavit contends that Marquez repeatedly gave “conflicting stories to friends, family and law enforcement” as they all searched for Gaytan in the days and weeks after she vanished.
I did a story on this 2 months ago and I’m so happy to know that they’ve got their man.