Erika Gaytan

Young mother who vanished after El Paso concert believed dead, date charged with murder: Report

A Texas woman who vanished this summer was likely murdered, police say, and her date for a concert the night she was last seen alive has been arrested.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Erika Gaytan, 29, disappeared on July 13 after going to a concert with a date at the El Paso County Coliseum. The circumstances of his disappearance were suspicious from the start, as her family said she would never abandon her 7-year-old son.

Gaytan has not been seen since then, and though a body has not been recovered, police are treating her disappearance as a homicide, the Associated Press reports.

El Paso police have arrested 28-year-old Ricardo Marquez of El Paso, who was with Gaytan on the night she disappeared, and charged him with her murder.

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“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,” El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.

Investigators have reportedly gathered multiple items of evidence that incriminate Marquez in Gaytan’s death. The suspect reportedly told police that Gaytan had gone home with him after their date, but the pair got into an argument and she ordered a car using a ridesharing app. But her phone records do not show her making any arrangements for a ride.

According to the report, Marquez’s own phone records showed the he borrowed a shovel and an SUV from siblings the next morning. The SUV was later seen on surveillance camera footage driving in the direction of a desert, and returning an hour later.

Investigators found the shovel, sandy shoes, plastic restraints, and traces of Gaytan’s blood during a search of the suspect’s home.

Marquez is reportedly being held on $1 million bond.

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