Nevada Man Sentenced for Murder of Model Found Dead After She Was Injected with Cement, Pool Cleaner

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Apr. 26 2023, Published 5:12 p.m. ET

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A Nevada man will spend 10 to 25 years in prison for kidnapping and murdering a model through methamphetamine, strangulation, an injection of pool cleaner and cement.

Christopher Prestipino, 49, was sentenced April 25 in the kidnapping and killing of Esmeralda Gonzalez in Las Vegas in May 2019. He's already spent more than three years behind bars.

Police say Prestipino was part of a group of people that kidnapped Gonzalez. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Prestipino gave Gonzalez meth at his home, then tied her up in his bedroom to choke her.

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Then someone injected pool cleaner into Gonzalez's body. Exactly who did that is in dispute.

Police believe Prestipino was helped in the injection by roommate Casandra Garrett. But Prestipino's attorneys filed a motion on April 24 claiming Garrett has admitted to performing the injection.

Gonzalez, 24, was missing for five months before her body was found in the southern Nevada desert. It was inside a water tank and encased in cement.


Prestipino accepted a plea deal March 13 for second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. It came on the day his trial was scheduled to start, with attorneys saying he wanted to avoid a life sentence.

Garrett already has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 23.

“I do regret ever meeting the co-defendant,” Prestipino said of Garrett during his sentencing hearing.

A third suspect in Gonzalez's death, Lisa Mort, pleaded guilty in 2020 to being an accessory to murder. KLAS-TV reports she was Prestipino's girlfriend. Mort spent eight months in prison before being paroled.

The National Library of Medicine warns pool cleaner can be poisonous, especially due to chlorine, even if someone only touches it.


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