Arrest Report: Murder victim Esmeralda Gonzalez held on, fought for her life; suspect was combative with police

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The arrest report for Casandra Garrett, 39, reveals new details about the death of 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez.

According to police, Garrett told an ex-boyfriend “you wouldn’t believe how hard the human life will hold on to life, ” this after she and Christopher Prestipino, 46, beat Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was first reported missing in May 2019, and her body was discovered by authorities in a concrete and wood structure in a desert area of North Las Vegas on Oct. 8.

Police say Garrett was “defensive,” “argumentative,” and “denied any knowledge” of the Gonzalez investigation during an interview in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Police interviewed several people connected to Garrett. A woman who is friends with Garrett’s ex-husband said Garrett called her and told her about the police interview and the investigation, revealing that Garrett said it “may have been a sex fetish game that might have gone wrong.” She also told the woman that she didn’t know if the victim in the game was Gonzalez and that she had seen concrete and wood materials in Prestipino’s garage.

A second woman who knew both Garrett and Prestipino told police that Garrett had spoken with her ex-boyfriend about what happened with the victim at Prestipino’s home. The ex-boyfriend told the woman the story, saying Garrett told him the victim was tied up to a stripper pole at Prestipino’s house and that muriatic acid and a drum were used on the victim. The woman also told police that Casandra was upset in the weeks following the incident due to her and Prestipino forgetting a U-Haul dolly in the desert near the location of the victim’s remains. The woman was not told anything specific about Gonzalez.

Authorities interviewed a third woman whose brother is Garrett’s ex-boyfriend. Police say he relayed the story Garrett told him to his sister, telling her that Garrett had said ‘she did something really bad and she had the devil inside her.’ According to the report, he said Prestipino and Garrett picked the victim up, and they were involved in sex acts. After Gonzalez notified the two suspects she wanted to leave, Prestipino became scared due to thinking she would go to police, and they chained her to the stripper pole in his room. The report says after an extended period of time, they decided to kill her.

Finally, the report says Garrett and Prestipino beat Gonzalez, but she did not die and pleaded with them to let her go home.

This is when Garrett told her ex-boyfriend ‘you wouldn’t believe how hard the human life will hold on to life,’ further describing how the woman held on, even when she believed the victim would have been ‘long gone.’

Garrett ultimately, told Prestipino “‘I got this,” and she injected Gonzalez with muriatic acid, which lead to her death. Police say Garrett told her ex-boyfriend that she demeaned Prestipino because he was tired and couldn’t ‘finish Gonzalez off.’

According to the report, on October 8, she voluntarily returned to Las Vegas to help authorities locate the body. She led them to a desert area north of the city, where detectives located Gonzalez’ decomposed body in the concrete and wood structure.

Garrett faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of Gonzalez.

Garrett appeared in court Wednesday morning and is currently being held at Clark County Detention Center.

Prestipino posted a $500,000 bond, and despite prosecutors concerns of a flight risk, a judge allowed Prestipino to go under house arrest.

Another suspect, Lisa Mort, faces charges of aiding and concealing a felony.

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