Homicide for the Holidays: Silent Night Murders is highlighting the murders of Salvatore and Gianni Belvedere and Ilona Flint by Carlo Mercado.
On December 23, 2013, Gianna, 24, was supposed to pick up his 22-year-old fiance, Flint, at the Westfield Mission Valley mall in San Diego, California, where she worked.
When he didn’t show up, Flint called his phone several times, but he didn’t answer.
That’s when Flint and Gianni’s younger brother decided to wait for him in the parking lot.
At around 1:15 a.m. on December 23, 2013, Flint called 911 for help after she and Salvatore had been shot.
When emergency first responders arrived on the scene, they found Flint dead inside a vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head.
Salvatore was shot in the head and the torso.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
He was in critical condition when paramedics transported him to an area hospital, but he died three days later.
Gianni Belvedere was found dead weeks later
On the morning of January 17, 2014, a passerby called 911 to report a vehicle, a dark green Toyota Camry, at a shopping center in Riverside with a foul odor.
When police officers arrived on the scene, they found the decomposing body of a man in the trunk of the car.
The following day, relatives identified the body as Gianni.
An autopsy revealed that he died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Ballistics and DNA evidence linked Carlo Mercado to the Christmas Eve murders
In June 2014, an agent at a checkpoint found a weapons case, two handguns, two homemade silencers, and an assault rifle in Mercado’s vehicle.
He was arrested after that.
Ballistic evidence showed that one of the guns was used in the execution-style killing of Salvatore, Gianni, and Flint.
His DNA was also found on an air freshener can that was in the trunk of Gianni’s car.
Investigators believed it was a love triangle that turned deadly until Mercado was linked to the murders.
He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors stated that the triple killings were a random act of violence
An investigation revealed that Mercado did not know the victims. Prosecutors believe their deaths resulted from a carjacking or an act of road rage.
On January 12, 2017, Mercado pleaded guilty to killing Salvatore, Gianni, and Flint.
A judge later sentenced Mercado to three life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Homicide for the Holidays: Silent Night Murders airs Friday at 9/8c on Oxygen.