Dateline: Secrets Uncovered is examining the murder of Wendy Trapaga, a newlywed bride who was strangled and beaten to death by her husband, Michel Escoto, in Miami, Florida.
In October 2002, Trapaga and Escoto married and embarked on an impromptu honeymoon.
However, four days later, the 21-year-old Trapaga was dead, and her husband tried to claim a $1 million insurance policy.
Escoto attempted to kill his wife three times over four days. On the first occasion, he drugged her drink, but she refused to drink it because it tasted chalky.
Several days later, the pair were booked into the Miami Executive Airport Hotel when Escoto again drugged Trapaga and held her head under the water in a jacuzzi. She managed to fight him off, just surviving that attempt on her life.
Unfortunately, later that night, the killer eventually got his way. He had drugged his victim and brought her to the house of his long-term girlfriend, Yolanda Cerrillo.
Girlfriend Yolanda Cerrillo helped Michel Escoto kill Wendy Trapaga
Escoto had already told Cerillio about the plan to kill Trapaga. The killer couple then took Trapaga to a warehouse where Escoto strangled and beat her to death with a tire iron. The body was left beside a trashcan.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
Cerillo picked up Escoto after the murder, and they disposed of the tire iron in the sea. At the time, they were approached by a police officer, but they only shooed the murderers away from the water.
Trapaga’s remains were discovered a few days later. Escoto told detectives he had argued with Trapaga and dropped her off at their South Beach apartment before driving off. He claimed that was the last time he saw her.
However, Ecoto was a lousy actor, and the cops didn’t believe he was grieving. The million-dollar insurance policy also set the alarm bells ringing with the police.
Cerrillo agreed to cooperate with the police in exchange for immunity against prosecution, and she was a crucial witness in the case against Escoto.
Michel Escoto found guilty of killing Wendy Trapaga
The killer insisted he was innocent and represented himself in court. At one point, he was found in contempt of court after threatening a witness on the stand.
Eventually, Escoto was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life.
At the sentencing, Trapaga’s sister told Escoto, “You are as insignificant as roadkill,” and her mother told him, “You have left a big hole in my heart.”
Dateline: Secrets Uncovered airs Tuesday at 8/7c on Oxygen.