EL PASO, Texas — A judge on Wednesday denied a bond reduction request for a man accused of killing an El Paso mother who went missing after the pair were on a concert date in July.
Ricardo Marquez, 28, of El Paso will remain held in the downtown jail on $1 million bond on a charge of murder in the death of Erika Andrea Gaytan.
El Paso police have said the body of the 29-year-old Gaytan still has not been recovered. She was last heard from on July 13 when she attended the concert with Marquez.
A police spokesman said at the time Marquez' arrest that "based on forensic and other evidence gathered over the course of the investigation, detectives have reason to believe that (Gaytan) is deceased and was the victim of a murder."
Gaytan’s family said when they reported her missing on July 16 that it was not like her to go off and leave her 7-year-old son behind.
According to a police affidavit, 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 the Red Sands 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.