EL PASO, Texas — A Texas woman who went missing after going on a date in July was killed, and a man has been arrested in her death, police said Wednesday.
El Paso police said the body of Erika Andrea Gaytan, 29, has not been recovered. She was last heard from July 13 after going to a concert.
“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,” police spokesman Enrique Carrillo said in a statement.
Ricardo Marquez, 28, of El Paso has been arrested and charged with her murder, Carrillo said. He is being held on $1 million bond.
Police issued a missing person alert in July describing Gaytan as “endangered.” She was last seen by her family on the day of the concert, and they reported her missing on July 16.
Gaytan’s family said when she went missing that it was not like her to go off and leave her 7-year-old son behind.
According to a police affidavit, Marquez told detectives he had taken Gaytan to his home after their date, but they argued and Gaytan used a ride-hailing app to get a lift. However, police said no such order was made from her phone.
Marquez’s phone records showed he borrowed his brother’s sport utility vehicle and a shovel from his sister the next morning. A search of Marquez’s home turned up the shovel, sand-filled shoes and plastic restraints. Surveillance video showed the SUV headed toward a desert area, then returning an hour later, according to the affidavit.
Laboratory analysis of a rear floor mat by the state crime lab revealed traces of blood determined to have come from Gaytan, the affidavit stated.