I-Team Exclusive: ‘It was heartbreaking to see our sister being dragged,’ Palacio family reacts to video evidence in murder case

I-Team Special Reports

22-year-old first reported missing in August; body later found nearly 2 weeks later

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lesly Palacio’s teenage sisters said they last saw the 22-year-old alive the day before she disappeared.

“I think we all had so much faith that she was going to come back home to us,” Nayelli Palacio, 16, said. “I would never have imagined she would have been taken away from us.”

Evidence presented to a grand jury last month shows Erick Rangel-Ibarra, 25, and Jose Rangel, 46, moving Lesly’s body on Aug. 29, 2020, prosecutors allege, according to documents obtained first by the I-Team.

Lesly Palacio (KLAS)

According to court transcripts and video footage, prosecutors believe Rangel-Ibarra returned to his home with Palacio around 6 a.m. after a night of drinking. Video shows a man, whom prosecutors identify as Rangel-Ibarra, helping a woman, identified as Palacio, get out of a truck parked in front of his home on Tipper Avenue on the east side, court documents said.

An hour later, the same camera from a home down the street captures two men, whom prosecutors identified as Rangel-Ibarra and Rangel, dragging a body from the home and into the same truck.

Erick Michel Rangel-Ibarra, left, and Jose Antonio Rangel. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

A few minutes later, the video shows the truck leaving, and a man, whom prosecutors identified as Rangel, hosing off the walkway.

Prosecutors submitted several dozen crime scene photos and a handful of surveillance videos into evidence in Rangel’s case. Last month, a grand jury indicted him on charges of being an accessory to murder and destroying or concealing evidence.

Palacio’s body was found near the Valley of Fire on September 9, 2020. The coroner has not released her cause of death.

Lesly Palacio and her sisters. (KLAS)

Rangel appeared in court Friday. He pleaded not guilty and was held on $100,000 bond. Rangel was arrested near the U.S.-Mexico border last month.

His son remains on the run and could be in Mexico, prosecutors said.

“We all worked so hard just to try to find Lesly,” Nayelli said. “We weren’t even able to see her for the last time because they decided to dump her in the desert.”

Nayelli and her 15-year-old sister, Kaly Palacio, told the I-Team that the videos, while difficult to watch, help piece the puzzle together of what happened to their sister.

Lesly Palacio (KLAS)

“Just the thought of it and seeing those videos made all of us sick to our stomach,” Nayelli said. “It was heartbreaking to see our sister being dragged.”

“I would thank her for teaching me from my mistakes, giving me advice and always being there for me,” Kaly said.

Now, the sisters say they are there for her as the search for Rangel-Ibarra continues.

“We’re never going to see her, hold her. Anything. The bare minimum he could do is turn himself in like Jose did,” Nayelli said.

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