LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The father accused of helping move 22-year-old Lesly Palacio’s body after she died in August accepted a plea deal Friday on two charges.
Prosecutors said Jose Rangel helped his son, Erick Rangel-Ibarra, move Palacio’s body from the family home.
Rangel pleaded guilty to destroying evidence and being an accessory to murder. His trial was due to be rescheduled Friday.
He faces up to two years in prison and will be sentenced in August.
Rangel was arrested near the U.S.-Mexico border in February. His son remains on the run and is wanted for murder. Investigators believe he is likely in Mexico.
Video evidence presented to a grand jury earlier this year shows Rangel-Ibarra and his father, Jose Rangel, moving Palacio’s body on Aug. 29, 2020, according to documents obtained first by the I-Team.
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, 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. A few minutes later, the video shows the truck leaving, and a man, whom prosecutors identified as Rangel, hosing off the walkway.
Crime scene photos from inside the home show a stripped bed and some blood splatter, though investigators have yet to determine the source of the blood, documents said. Investigators also shared photos of gloves and cleaning supplies in the home.
Rangel initially told police he thought Palacio had died from an overdose, but then told police he initially saw the body when Erick dragged it down the stairs of their home on a bed sheet, documents said.
Rangel-Ibarra is wanted on charges of murder and destroying evidence. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.
Palacio’s official cause and manner of death are listed as undetermined. Investigators have not elaborated on what evidence inside the Rangel home led them to determine Palacio is the victim of a homicide. An undetermined cause and manner of death means there is not enough evidence on a deceased person’s body to clearly determine how they died.