Murder of Esmeralda Gonzalez by Christopher Prestipino and Casandra Garrett examined on Sin City Murders

Mugshot of Christopher Prestipino
Christopher Prestipino accepted an Alford plea for the murder of Esmeralda. Pic credit: NV Dept. of Corrections

Sin City Murders is investigating the murder of social media influencer Esmeralda Gonzalez, who was killed by Christopher Prestipino and Casandra Garrett at the home they shared in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 24-year-old Esmeralda was reported missing by her family on May 31, 2019. The influencer suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and it was highly unusual for her to go missing.

Unfortunately, her family’s fears were realized a few months later when her body was found in the desert inside a 250-gallon water tank covered in concrete and wood.

Esmeralda’s hands had been tied, and there was tape around her head and neck, and the body was wrapped up in a plastic tarp. The Clark County Coroner’s Office noticed a chemical smell coming from the body as opposed to the expected decompositional smell; they later concluded she had been injected with pool cleaner.

The investigators matched a piece of jewelry found near the body to one worn by Esmeralda in a social media post, and a DNA match with her parents later confirmed her identity.

A tip-off led the cops to Prestipino. The cops concluded that Prestipino had called Esmeralda over to his house and had then forced her to remain. He forced her to take Methamphetimne and, at some point, tied her to a chair and strangled her.

Police said Christopher Prestipino and Casandra Garrett killed Esmeralda Gonzalez

Prestipino was aided in the murder by his roommate, Casandra Garrett. It’s not clear if Esmeralda was injected with the pool cleaner before or after her death.

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Mugshot of Casandra Garrett
Casandra Garrett was arrested in Wisconsin a month after Esmeralda’s remains were discovered. Pic credit: Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office

In February 2021, Garrett pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon, and she was sentenced to between eight and 20 years in prison. As she was sentenced, Garrett said in a soft voice that she “wanted to apologize” for her involvement in the killing.

Christopher Prestipino took an Alford plea for Esmeralda Gonzalez murder

In March 2023, Prestipino accepted an Alford plea for second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. This means he can maintain his innocence but accepts that prosecutors likely have enough evidence to convict him.

The killer agreed to serve ten to 25 years for the second-degree murder and five to 15 years for the kidnapping. The sentences will run consecutively, meaning he will be eligible for parole after ten years.

A third accomplice, Prestipino’s girlfriend, Lisa Mort, pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after she was accused of warning her boyfriend that the cops were closing in on him. She was sentenced to between two and five years in prison. 

Sin City Murders airs Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.

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