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Gilroy: Man charged with murder after allegedly dismembering and burning girlfriend’s body

Gilroy: Man charged with murder after allegedly dismembering and burning girlfriend’s body

GILROY — A man has been charged with murder on allegations he killed his girlfriend then dismembered and burned her body, according to authorities and court documents.

Ivan Alfaro Escobedo, 31, was charged with one count of murder in the July death of Alyssa Salazar, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Escobedo, who authorities say also goes by Iban Escovedo, was being held in the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas as of Wednesday. He was scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charge Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the events that appear to have led up to the slaying began on April 27 when Salazar reported that Escobedo, who she described as her boyfriend, raped and assaulted her. Gilroy police obtained an arrest warrant for him in May.

Then in July, two of Salazar’s relatives alerted police to phone calls they received from a man they believed was Escobedo telling them that he would kill Salazar and her family if they reported the rape, according to an investigative summary accompanying the murder charge filing.

The last time Salazar was heard from alive was July 26 in a phone call to a friend or family member. That same day, the summary states, Salazar was recorded on surveillance video at the Steinbeck Library in Salinas getting into a gray 2007 Honda Accord with license plates indicating that it was Escobedo’s car.

It wasn’t until Aug. 30 that police caught up with Escobedo when they spotted his car and arrested him, presumably on the arrest warrant for the rape allegation. During the car stop, police reported seeing “red-brown stains on the front passenger door frame and front passenger seat foam,” which upon testing was determined to be blood.

Officers also recovered a 9mm handgun from the car, police said.

In the 24 hours after the arrest, police searched a trailer and surrounding property on Young Road that was associated with Escobedo’s sister, based in part on a witness tip, according to the investigative document. The witness reported seeing “a fire burn for several days in barrels next to the trailer in late July 2023.”

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Investigators reported finding a burn barrel on the grounds, and inside were “burned human bones including pieces of rib, skull and hand.” A bathtub on the property was also found with traces of blood, the summary states.

Subsequent DNA testing confirmed that the blood and human remains that police recovered matched Salazar’s DNA profile, according to the investigation, which was conducted by Gilroy police and DA investigators.

The charge was based on the physical evidence and witness statements reporting that they saw Salazar motionless in Escobedo’s car near the trailer. One witness reportedly told police that Escobedo directly admitted to them that he shot Salazar then cut up her body and burned the remains.

Escobedo was being held in the Elmwood jail, a medium-security facility, based on the rape arrest. Now that the murder charge has been filed, he is likely to be transferred to the higher-security Main Jail in San Jose.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.