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Police believe missing woman strangled to death, injected with poison

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Posted at 10:44 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 23:44:42-04

Las Vegas police believe a woman who went missing back in May was strangled to death and injected with a poisonous substance, according to court documents released on Wednesday.

45-year-old Christopher Prestipino is accused by police of kidnapping and killing 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

On Oct. 8, police found a body located in a concrete and wooden structure in a desert area north of Las Vegas.

The body has not been identified by authorities, but police say Prestipino faces charges for open murder in that case and that the victim was held against her will in Prestipino's home.

Police believe 31-year-old Lisa Mort had knowledge of what had occurred and assisted Prestipino.

Untitled design (9).png<div class="Figure-credit" itemprop="author">Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Christopher Prestipino (left) and Lisa Mort (right). Image Source: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

In July, KTNV to Gonzalez's brother, Juan Gonzalez, who said he was worried about his missing sister and that she suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In the weeks leading up to her disappearance he says she was off her medications.

"We feel it's very important for the public to understand how vulnerable she is," Gonzalez said at the time.

Untitled design (7).png<div class="Figure-credit" itemprop="author">Gonzalez family
Esmeralda Gonzalez Photo Source: The Gonzalez family

The documents also name a co-conspirator, Cassandra Garrett, in Gonzalez's murder.

Prestipino has been charged with First Degree Kidnapping, Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Murder.

He is being held without bail at Clark County Detention Center and is expected in court on Oct. 22.

This article was written by Amy Abdelsayed for KTNV>