A body found dumped in the Las Vegas desert has been identified as a 24-year-old woman who had been missing for almost five months.
Extensive measures were taken to hide the body, with AP reporting the corpse was discovered in a “homemade concrete and wooden structure” near the Nevada California border on October 8.
The Clark County District Attorney's office later identified the woman as Esmeralda Gonzalez, a model and Las Vegas local who was last seen on CCTV on May 31.
Esmeralda’s brother, Juan Gonzalez, described his sister as “vulnerable” and had mental health issues.
"She is diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," Mr Gonzalez, told local news station ABC13 after she went missing.
“My family and I are worried sick.”
The outlet also reports that court documents show police received an anonymous tip on July 18 that Ms Gonzalez’s neighbour, Christopher Prestipino, 45, was involved in her disappearance.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that neighbours found Ms Gonzalez trying to open the door on the night she vanished, when they told her she was at the wrong house, she could be seen on home security cameras heading toward toward Mr Prestipino’s home.
During the investigation police uncovered that Ms Gonzalez had been at Mr Prestipino’s residence where they allege she was held against her will, strangled and injected with pool cleaner before her body was dumped the desert.
KNTV reported that CCTV footage also showed Mr Prestipino at a hardware store allegedly buying several bags of concrete.
On October 11 police met Mr Prestipino returning from a flight from Belize and placed him under arrest for suspicion of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.
Lisa Mort, 31, was also taken into custody as police believe she had knowledge of what had occurred and assisted Mr Prestipino.
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