OTHELLO, Wash. — A Washington man has been arrested after authorities found the dismembered bodies of two women in an abandoned car last week.
Mauricio Nava-Garibay, 28, of Othello, was jailed early Friday on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of concealment of a body, according to The Associated Press.
“It was gruesome,” Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner told KREM in Spokane. “It wasn’t a good scene.”
Deputies were called around 6:30 a.m. Thursday to the 2200 block of Charla Road in Othello, a small city about 120 miles southwest of Spokane, where a man reported finding a 2014 Honda Accord in front of his home.
The hood was smeared with blood, authorities said. When the deputies peered in the windows, they made a shocking discovery.
“They could see into the windows and into the back seat,” Wagner told KREM. “And they found what appeared to be human remains.”
The scene was immediately secured and a team from the Washington State Police’s crime lab was called out to help process the evidence.
“During the processing of the crime scene, (the) WSP crime lab team located the possible remains of other human deceased subjects in the vehicle’s trunk,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The victims have been identified as Dora Martinez, 57, and Guadalupe Martinez, 30, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Dora Martinez was Nava-Garibay’s girlfriend.
The women’s relationship to one another has not been revealed by police, but Dora Martinez’s Facebook profile indicates that Guadalupe, known to loved ones as Lupita, was her daughter.
According to court records obtained by the newspaper, Lupita Martinez had severe autism and possessed the “mental capacity of a 5- or 6-year-old.”
Editor’s note: The following story contains graphic details.
The court documents fill in the grim details of the Martinez women’s last moments, along with the aftermath of their slayings. The first deputies on the scene on Charla Road Thursday evening saw what appeared to be flesh in the back seat, covered by a blanket.
They could not determine from a distance if the parts were animal or human, so they opened the door to get a closer look.
KIMA in Yakima, which also obtained the records in the case, reported that the deputies found a human head lying on the back floorboard. The second body was soon found in the trunk.
Detectives traced the Honda back to Dora Martinez. According to KREM, she and Lupita Martinez lived together at a home on Cypress Street, about three miles from where their bodies were dumped.
Nava-Garibay also lived at the home with the women.
Investigators also obtained surveillance footage that showed a man, later identified as Nava-Garibay, walking near the scene of the carnage. After learning that Nava-Garibay was Dora Martinez’s boyfriend, they took him into custody for questioning.
Nava-Garibay was wearing a bloodstained tank top at the time of his arrest, the Spokesman-Review reported.
During his interview, Nava-Garibay told investigators he got into an argument with Dora Martinez Wednesday evening at her home. He said she struck him in the face during the fight.
Five minutes later, he lured her into the garage by telling her he had a gift for her, the probable cause affidavit states.
Martinez sat down in the back seat of the car, at which time Nava-Garibay said he began stabbing her multiple times. He also punched her before strangling her with his belt and an extension cord, according to the documents.
Nava-Garibay said Lupita Martinez walked into the garage at that moment, according to authorities. He shoved her onto the floor, causing her to slam her head on the concrete.
He then stabbed her in the neck, the affidavit states.
Nava-Garibay told detectives he was not strong enough to move the women’s bodies whole, so he cut them up. He then put them in the car and drove to Charla Road, where he abandoned it and walked away.
Investigators who went to the Martinez home found a “red substance consistent with blood” on the driveway, KREM reported.
Detectives said that as they were investigating the killings, a second 911 caller reported finding bloody clothes, a knife and other items in the trash at a mobile home park a few miles from the alley on Charla Road. Nava-Garibay told them during questioning that he had disposed of some of his clothing there after the slayings.
The man who found the Honda told KREM that realizing what was in the car was terrifying.
“I am so scared. We are all scared,” the man, who spoke Spanish and asked not to be identified, told a reporter. “Those poor women.”
Nava-Garibay is being held in the Adams County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond, according to the sheriff’s office.
Cox Media Group