EL PASO, Texas — An El Paso man is now slated to go on trial this fall for the murder of a woman who authorities contend was killed after going on a date with him nearly two years ago, according to court records from a status conference held Monday in the case.
Ricardo Marquez, 28, will stand trial before a jury on Sept. 10 in the presumed death of Erika Andrea Gaytan, 29, whose body has yet to be recovered. She was last heard from on July 13, 2019 before attending a concert with Marquez at the El Paso County Coliseum.
While her body has not been found, police and prosecutors have said they believe Gaytan is deceased and was the victim of a murder based on forensic and other evidence gathered by detectives.
Gaytan’s family has said she would never have gone off and left her 7-year-old son behind.
According to a police affidavit previously reported on by ABC-7, Marquez told detectives he had taken Gaytan to his home after their date, but they argued and Gaytan used a ride-hailing app to get a lift. However, police said no such order was made from her phone.
Marquez’s phone records showed he borrowed his brother’s sport utility vehicle and a shovel from his sister the next morning. A search of Marquez’s home turned up the shovel, sand-filled shoes and plastic restraints. Surveillance video showed the SUV headed toward a desert area, then returning an hour later, according to the affidavit.
Laboratory analysis of a rear floor mat by the state crime lab revealed traces of blood determined to have come from Gaytan, the affidavit stated.
Despite having his bond lowered last year from $1 million to $250,000, Marquez remains held in the downtown jail as he awaits trial.
(The Associated Press contributed background to this report.)