Model Found Encased in Concrete Was Injected With Pool Cleaner, as Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
The Las Vegas man accused of killing a 24-year-old Instagram model whose remains were found encased in concrete has pleaded not guilty to many charges he faces.
PEOPLE confirms that Christopher Prestipino, 45, appeared in court Tuesday after being indicted last week on murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges — all stemming from his alleged role in the death of Esmeralda Gonzalez.
Gonzalez vanished in late May, according to police, and her body was found in the desert outside Glendale, Nevada, on Oct. 8.
Her hands were bound and there was white tape around her head and neck. The body was found wrapped in blankets and stuffed inside a 250-gallon water tank that was then filled with concrete and covered with wood.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gonzalez worked in adult entertainment and was followed by more than 300,000 users on Instagram.
The paper also reports she lived close to Prestipino’s residence.
Police allege that Garrett killed Gonzalez “with a poisonous substance and/or by strangulation,” according to FOX 5 in Las Vegas. The Review-Journal, citing court papers, reports that substance was pool cleaner.
A motive has not been established at this point.
KSNV reports that Casandra Garrett, Prestipino’s 39-year-old roommate, and Lisa Mort, his 31-year-old girlfriend, also face charges related to the model’s murder.
Garrett has been charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges, while Mort faces a single count of harboring, concealing or aiding a felon.
Garrett is awaiting extradition from Wisconsin, where she was arrested last month. She has yet to plead to the charges against her.
It was unclear if Mort had entered a plea to the charge she faces. Lawyers for both women could not be reached for comment.
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Prestipino’s lawyer, Bill Terry, was also unavailable to comment on his client’s behalf.
Gonzalez was originally from Mexico and had attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, according to her Facebook profile.