El Paso police believe the man charged with the murder of person Erika Andrea Gaytan killed her inside his east El Paso home and used his relative’s Jeep to move her body.
The 29-year-old was last seen the evening of Saturday, July 13, or the early morning of Sunday, July 14, after attending the “El Reencuentro Norteno” concert at the El Paso County Coliseum.
Police said Gaytan’s family reported her missing July 16.
Police said 28-year-old Ricardo Marquez was arrested and charged with Gaytan’s murder.
Her body was not found, according to police. They believe Gaytan was murdered based on forensic and other evidence gathered over the course of their investigation.
Marquez was arrested at his home in the 3600 block of Nehemiah Place in east El Paso.
Marquez and Gaytan attended a concert together, it stated. He was the last person to have been seen with her, according to his arrest affidavit.
The document states Marquez told police he and Gaytan drove to his home after the concert and became involved in an argument.
Marquez told police she used a ride-share app to leave, but no evidence of such activity was found in Gaytan’s phone records.
Gaytan had not been seen or heard from since, according to police, which they said is unusual for her.
Marquez’s phone records show he asked his brother via text message to borrow his Jeep Wrangler at 11 a.m. on July 14, even though he owns his own vehicle, according to the affidavit.
The arrest affidavit for Marquez states 15 minutes later he asked his sister for a shovel and picked it up 10 minutes later.
Police said the shovel was seized as evidence, along with sand-filled shoes “visually consistent with the sand in the desert area off East Montana.”
Detectives said zip ties were discovered tied in a manner to be used as restraints.
According to the arrest affidavit, Marquez picked up his brother’s Jeep around noon on July 14, and surveillance video from the 14900 block of Montana Avenue shows the Jeep westbound on Montana roughly an hour and a half later, away from the desert area.
Police said the Jeep was seized as evidence and investigators believe blood was found in the rear cargo area. Police said a Department of Public Safety lab confirmed the blood matched the DNA of Gaytan.
Marquez gave conflicting stories to friends, family and law enforcement who have questioned him separately while searching for Gaytan, according to the affidavit.
Shortly after Gaytan’s dissappearance, Viktor Renovato, the father of Gaytan’s 7-year-old son, spoke about what Gaytan’s absence has been like for the family.
“The last time I spoke to her was, she texted me, she told me, ‘Can you send me a picture of my son in the movies?’ So, I went ahead, 9:30 p.m. That was the last text I got,” said Renovato.
Police had issued a warrant for Gaytan’s arrest after her disappearance in connection with 66 charges of credit card or debit card abuse totaling $713.72 in charges.
According to online court records, Gaytan pleaded not guilty to the charges April 4 and her trial was set for Nov. 1.
“The police stopped me to see if I had heard any type of screaming, and I told them no,” said Laura Cervantes, a neighbor. “Right now we’re kind of scared because this is a peaceful neighborhood, so how could that happen here?”
The man who has a 7-year-old son with Gaytan said he was heartbroken in having to tell his son that his mother may not be alive.
Marquez was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility under a $1 million bond.
The investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone who may have information on this case or Marquez to call 915-212-4040 or Crime Stoppers of El Paso at 915-566-8477