The boyfriend of the man whose remains were found in a popular cave near the famed “Hollywood” sign was found guilty of murder last Thursday.
Gabriel Campos-Martinez, 40, fatally strangled Hervey Medellin, a former Mexicana Airlines clerk and art collector, on Dec. 27, 2011.
The remains were discovered in March of 2014 by a city worker who was excavating around the Bronson Caves, an old quarry that appeared as the entrance of the Batcave in the 60’s Batman TV series.
“He was working a loader right in the mouth of the cave when he pulled up a bag with human tissue in it,” Los Angeles prosecutor Bobby Grace tells PEOPLE.
The human parts were identified on Sept. 22 as belonging to 66-year-old murder victim Hervey Medellin.
The same day Campos-Martinez was found guilty of first-degree murder, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s skeletal recovery team, with the help of cadaver dog Indiana Bones, searched the cave for additional remains but didn’t find any.
“They didn’t identify any additional bones or body parts,” Deputy Chief Coroner Ed Winter tells PEOPLE.
A dog walker walking her dogs discovered Medellin’s head on Jan. 17, 2012 along a wooded trail near the Hollywood sign. Police later found his feet and hands about 50 yards away but were never able to determine where Medellin was killed or where the remainder of his body was.
The case generated widespread speculation, including theories Medellin’s death was tied to a Mexican drug cartel or even to Luka Magnotta, a Canadian porn actor convicted last December of dismembering a Chinese exchange student and sending some of his body parts to members of the Canadian Parliament. But authorities zeroed in on Campos-Martinez.
In March 2014, the former chef was arrested in San Antonio, Texas. He was later extradited back to Los Angeles to stand trial.
Grace says Campos-Martinez killed Medellin because he believed he” was puling away from him.”
“I think he felt the victim was going to leave him or ask him to move out,” he says. “He was totally dependent on Medellin financially.”
Detectives checked the Internet history of one of the couple’s computers and discovered a search for sausage-making tools and meat-saws was made a few days before the murder. Then, after the murder, the user accessed an article entitled, “Butchering of the Human Carcass for Human Consumption.”
“The article talked, gave directions on how to cut up a human body,” testified Los Angeles Police Department detective Lisa Sanchez-Padilla at the preliminary hearing. “It gave directions on how high to go on the neck, where to cut on the wrist, the ankles, different parts of the body, and how to actually, in reading it, also how to drain it of blood.”
Campos Martinez faces 25 years to life in state prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 16.
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