Man pleads not guilty in murder of Instagram model found in Las Vegas desert

Business USA Vegas News

A man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in the brutal murder of an Instagram model whose body was found encased in a concrete block in the desert outside Las Vegas, a report said.

Christopher Prestipino, 45, is accused of murdering 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez with the help of his girlfriend and roommate Casandra Garrett, 39, inside his Las Vegas home, according to The Las-Vegas Review Journal.

Prestipino, who was indicted by a grand jury last week, and Garrett allegedly tied Gonzalez to a bedpost, injected her with pool cleaner and strangled her, according to court documents.

Prestipino and Garrett then allegedly used a U-Haul truck to dump Gonzalez’s body 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas near Glendale.

The victim’s body was found inside a 250-gallon water tank on Oct. 8 — five months after she was reported missing, court records state.

The grand jurors who indicted Prestipino were given a witness account of the tank Gonzalez was found in from Metropolitan Police Department homicide Detective Tate Sanborn, the report said.

“The top had been cut off, the contents filled with concrete and then a wooden structure built around that and then poured over that to fill up the void around the wood,” he said.

Authorities say the body of Esmeralda Gonzalez was found encased in this 250-gallon water tank filled with concrete.
Authorities say the body of Esmeralda Gonzalez was found encased in this 250-gallon water tank filled with concrete.Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Investigators determined it was Gonzalez in the concrete-encased box by matching jewelry found on her remains with what she was wearing in photos posted to social media.

Prestipino and Garrett are facing murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges.

Lisa Mort, 31, Prestipino’s girlfriend, was also charged with harboring, concealing or aiding a felon for her alleged involvement.

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