LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We’re now learning more about the man and woman accused of killing Esmeralda Gonzalez. The woman was first reported missing back in May, but was found dead last week in a concrete and wooden structure in a desert area north of Las Vegas.
45-year-old Christopher Prestipino is accused of her murder, and 31-year-old Lisa Mort is accused of aiding Prestipino after the murder.
According to the arrest report, police received an anonymous tip in July that Prestipino and another woman — Casandra Garrett — killed an unknown woman.
The victim — who would later be identified by friends and family as Esmeralda Gonzalez — was a prostitute hired by the two.
While at Prestipino’s home on the night of May 31, Gonzalez was left tied up to a bedpost for an extended period of time. She started yelling, and the suspects were concerned she was going to report them to police. Gonzalez died after being injected with pool cleaner by Prestipino and Garrett.
According to another person interviewed by police — known only as “Tricia” — Prestipino was panicked after the incident. Tricia was invited to Prestipino’s house because he said he needed help.
Tricia got there and Prestipino described getting Gonzalez high on meth. He said Gonzalez started acting bizarre and started “speaking in the devil’s tongue.” Tricia said Prestipino told her that Gonzalez threatened to call the cops on him for the drugs he forced on her. From there, Prestipino tied Gonzalez to a chair in “an attempt to calm her down.”
Later, Prestipino said he attempted to untie her, but she punched him in the face. Prestipino then strangled her and thought she was dead, but she later woke up.
Investigators learned Prestipino had rented a U-Haul truck between June 8-10. While Tricia was at his house, Prestipino asked for help loading a large wooden and concrete structure into the back of the U-Haul, but they could not move it. Tricia said there was a cement mixer and a freezer taped shut already in the back of the U-Haul.
The pair then left in the U-Haul. Prestipino later stopped and threw the freezer into a garbage dumpster. Tricia asked about the freezer, but Prestipino said if anyone got inside the freezer “it would be all bad.”
Tricia later left, and said she did not ever see the body, but did see plastic bags and cement bags at Prestipino’s home.
Investigators later discovered Prestipino bought hardware, cement and wood at a Home Depot on June 6. Then on June 7, he returned and bought a drill and concrete mixing paddle.
Prestipino then later dumped the body in the desert with the help of Garrett. The two had been panicked because they forgot the U-Haul dolly at the dump site.
Prestipino was arrested last week after returning from Belize. He was arrested at the airport without incident and is charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.
Lisa Mort is not mentioned in the report.
Another point of interest: detectives mapped Gonzalez’s address and found it was only 1/10 of a mile from Prestipino’s. The two essentially lived on the same street.