Things That Matter

A Man In El Paso Has Been Charged With The Murder Of His Date After She Went Missing

The family of a woman who had been declared missing since July has finally found tragic answers after El Paso police charged Ricardo Marquez, 28, with her murder. Erika Andrea Gaytan, 29, was reported missing by her family on July 16, who felt it was out-of-character for Gaytan to disappear and leave her 7-year-old son behind. Gaytan reportedly was last heard from after going to a concert at the El Paso County Coliseum on July 13 with Ricardo Marquez. Gaytan recorded the concert, featuring Los Rieleros del Norte, Polo Urias and La Maquinaria Norteña, from her social media last night, marking the last time anyone heard from her. Detectives say that the day after Gaytan’s disappearance, Marquez borrowed his brother’s car and his sister’s shovel. Gaytan’s blood was found in Marquez’s Jeep. In a statement released Wednesday, Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said that Gaytan’s “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 believe Marquez used zip-ties to restrain Gaytan in his home, where he murdered her.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

Marquez was brought in for questioning following Gaytan’s disappearance, where he told detectives that she came home with him, but used a ride-hailing app to leave after they got into a verbal argument. Detectives found no evidence that Gaytan used her ride-hailing apps, discrediting Marquez’s statement. According to a court affidavit, Marquez continued to give conflicting statements about his experience with Gaytan, and his whereabouts the following day, when speaking with law enforcement and family and friends alike. 

Marquez allegedly spent the next day covering up his crime.

CREDIT: @JALAKFOX_CBS / TWITTER

Investigators then looked into Marquez’s phone records, which showed that he had texted his brother and sister the next morning. He asked his brother if he could borrow his all-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler, and picked up a shovel from his sister. Surveillance video evidence creates a timeline for Marquez’s alleged cover-up. He borrowed a shovel from his sister around 11:25 a.m. the following morning, and then went to his brother’s house to pick up the Jeep. He spent about an hour with his brother before being spotted on the 13900 block of Montana in east El Paso, driving toward the Redlands desert area. An hour later, the Jeep was spotted again, driving back to his brother’s house around 1:39 p.m., according to the affidavit that was issued for his arrest. With a search warrant in hand, a Department of Public Safety DNA lab-tested Marquez’s brother’s Jeep trunk floor mat, which came back positive for traces of Gaytan’s blood. Police believe Marquez transported Gaytan’s body in the trunk of his brother’s car, and buried her in an unknown area in the desert.

Court documents cite that a search of Marquez’s home produced the shovel he borrowed from his sister, a pair of shoes filled with sand, and zip-ties “tied in a manner to be used as restraints.” Detectives have concluded that “Ricardo Marquez murdered the victim in his residence, used the Jeep to transport the body of the victim to an unknown location only accessible by off-road vehicles, and that he used the shovel to bury the body.”

The El Paso community is shocked to hear of Gaytan’s murder.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

“Too many tragedies as of late,” commented Melissa Arredondo on the El Paso Police Department’s Facebook announcement of the arrest. “Dang… And the report says he buried her near Redlands. That place is so cursed. My friend’s dad just died there. It will never be the same,” commented another member of the community. Others remain hopeful in demanding that the police find Gaytan’s body before assuming her death. “Too many questions remain,” commented another concerned El Paso citizen.

Gaytan was facing a court hearing for criminal mischief when she disappeared, but her family couldn’t believe that she would leave her son behind without warning. Gaytan once appeared on El Paso’s Most Wanted List in 2017 before she was charged 66 charges of credit abuse in a criminal mischief case.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and detectives are relying on the public for more information. If you have information on the case or Ricardo Marquez, call (915) 212-4040 or Crime Stoppers of El Paso at (915) 566-8477.

READ: California Man Arrested With Drugs And Guns While Keeping A Person Hostage And Suspected Of Murder

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More Than 1,200 Women And Girls Have Gone Missing In Peru During The Pandemic And Officials Think They Know Why

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More Than 1,200 Women And Girls Have Gone Missing In Peru During The Pandemic And Officials Think They Know Why

Rodrigo Abd / Getty Images

Apart from combating the Coronavirus, Peru has suffered a heartbreaking increase in the number of missing women and girls. Just as hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets to demand an end to gender-based violence, the Coronavirus hit and those same marches have had to be put on hold.

Now, as millions of women are forced to stay at home under strict lockdown orders, they’re spending more time with potentially abusive partners or family members. Many experts believe this combination of circumstances is leading to an increase in domestic violence as hundreds of women in Peru have been reported missing since the start of the pandemic.

Hundreds of women and girls have gone missing since the start of the lockdown.

In Peru, hundreds of women and girls have gone missing and many are feared dead since lockdown orders were put into place to help contain the spread of Covid-19. According to authorities (including Peru’s women’s ministry), at least 1,2000 women and girls have been reported missing since the start of the pandemic – a much higher figure than during non-Coronavirus months.

“The figures are really quite alarming,” Isabel Ortiz, a top women’s rights official, told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday. “We know the numbers of women and girls who have disappeared, but we don’t have detailed information about how many have been found,” she said. “We don’t have proper and up-to-date records.”

Ortiz is pushing the government to start keeping records so that authorities can track those who go missing – whether they are found alive or dead and whether they are victims of sex trafficking, domestic violence or femicide.

The women’s ministry said the government was working to eradicate violence against women and had increased funding this year for gender-based violence prevention programs.

Like many Latin American countries, Peru has long suffered from reports of domestic violence.

Credit: Cecile Lafranco / Getty Images

The Andean nation home to 33 million people has long had a domestic violence problem, but the home confinement measures because of the pandemic has made the situation worse, said Eliana Revollar, who leads the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman’s office, an independent body that monitors Peru’s human rights.

Before COVID-19, five women were reported missing in Peru every single day, but since the lockdown, that number has surged to eight a day. Countries worldwide have reported increases in domestic violence under coronavirus lockdowns, prompting the United Nations to call for urgent government action.

According to the UN, Latin America has the world’s highest rates of femicide, defined as the gender-motivated killing of women. Almost 20 million women and girls a year are estimated to endure sexual and physical violence in the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean are known for high rates of femicide and violence against women, driven by a macho culture and social norms that dictate women’s roles, Ortiz said. She added, “Violence against women exists because of the many patriarchal patterns that exist in our society.”

“There are many stereotypes about the role of women that set how their behaviour should be, and when these are not adhered to, violence is used against women,” she said.

Before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of women throughout Latin America, including Peru, were staging mass street demonstrations demanding that their governments should act against gender-based violence.

Meanwhile, the country is also struggling to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Cecile Lafranco / Getty Images

Despite implementing one of the world’s longest running stay-at-home orders, Peru has become one of the hardest hit countries. As of August 11, Peru has confirmed more than 483,000 cases of Coronavirus and 21,276 people have died.

Hospitals are struggling to cope with the rising number of patients and healthcare workers have protested against a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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This Man Was Robbed Of His Life Savings Just Minutes After Leaving The Bank

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This Man Was Robbed Of His Life Savings Just Minutes After Leaving The Bank

@naninizhoni / Twitter

Imagine having worked your life to provide a better future for your family only to have it stolen from you in a brazen attack. That’s exactly what happened to one immigrant man who had taken out his life savings from a Chase Bank when we was brutally attacked and robbed of more than $200,000 in cash.

The attack was caught on video and police are searching for the suspect. Meanwhile, the victim and his family are asking for help as the money was being used to support family across Mexico and El Salvador and to help put a child through graduate school.

A man has lost his life savings after being attacked and robbed outside a Chase Bank.

Police are searching for a suspect after a man was robbed of his life savings outside a Chase Bank. In Huntington Park, California, Francisco Cornejo had taken out $200,000 from the bank following the recent sale of his home, when an unknown assailant grabbed his satchel and ran away. 

Cornejo fell to the ground as a result, video taken by a bystander showed. The assailant’s face could not be seen in the video, but he was wearing a black hoodie.

“Within 30 seconds of just getting to his car, he was grabbed, beaten, robbed, and they took everything from him,” Cornejo’s attorney, Nathan Soleimani, told KTLA.

“He was parked as closely as possible to the bank, knowing he was going to withdraw a large amount of cash. As soon as he got to his car, before he was able to get to his car, he was grabbed and beaten,” attorney Nathan Soleimani said.

A family man, Cornejo had withdrawn the cash for the well-being of his loved ones, Soleimani said, adding that the family has no idea who would attack and rob his client. 

His daughter said her unemployed parents needed the money to “get through” the coronavirus pandemic, to support her 94-year-old grandmother, pay for her sister’s graduate school tuition and send funds to loved ones in Mexico and El Salvador. 

“This money was hard-earned and as a result of years and years of work,” she said. 

Cornejo was left severely injured and suffered a very traumatic experience.

In Spanish, Cornejo told KTLA that the entire experience and robbery were “traumatic.” And he suffered the injuries to prove it.

Cornejo was left with significant bruises on his side and arm, and his shoulder was dislocated. He also suffered severe trauma to the head, his daughter said in a GoFundMe page created to help with hospital expenses. 

“He never expected such an atrocious attack,” the daughter said. “Bystanders attest that my dad was fighting with all of his will. My father was dragged by the criminal as they both fought for the bag.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened – even in the past month.

Crime has recently started rising in big cities – especially crimes targeting immigrants. A recent story out of San Francisco is very similar to what happened to Cornejo. A senior couple, who came to the U.S. nearly 40 years ago, was left heartbroken after their life savings was taken from them in a brazen daytime burglary that was caught on camera.

Simon Zhong recalls the moment he learned two men forced their way inside his parent’s Crocker Amazon home. Stunning surveillance video from outside and inside the home, shows how the men used a crowbar to pry open a back door and enter while Simon’s parents were out.

His parents, immigrants from China, spent more than 35 years working in construction and housekeeping.

“My parents actually grew up really poor in China,” he said. “They actually borrowed money to come over to America and they worked every single day of their life.”

Not trusting the banking system, his dad kept their entire life savings, in cash, in a safe, only for it to disappear in less than 15 minutes. A senior law enforcement official who didn’t want to be identified confirmed Asian American families are often targets for criminals because they keep cash in their homes.

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