Las Vegas police have found the body of a 22-year-old woman, and her death is being investigated as a homicide, police said in a statement Wednesday.
Lesly Palacio, who had been missing since Aug. 29, was found in Moapa Valley near Valley of Fire State Park by Metropolitan Police Department investigators, Moapa Tribal Police and Red Rock Search and Rescue, police said.
Erick Rangel-Ibarra, 25, has been identified as a suspect, and police said they are pursuing a warrant for his arrest on one count of open murder.
Rangel-Ibarra was reported missing on Sept. 1 and police confirmed he was still outstanding on Wednesday. He was last seen Aug. 29, the same day Palacio was last seen.
Lesly Palacio’s body was found by Metro, the Moapa Tribal Police and Red Rock Search & Rescue crews near the Valley of Fire State Park, about 50 miles north of Las Vegas.
It wasn’t clear how Palacio died, but police said they were in the process of obtaining a warrant on a murder charge for Erick Michel Rangel-Ibarra, 25, who also was reported missing on Sept. 1, along with Jose Rangel, 45.
On Sept. 3, Metro said that foul play was suspected in Palacio’s disappearance and that homicide detectives had taken over the probe.
Palacio was initially reported missing on Aug. 30, a day after she was last seen alive.
Rangel-Ibarra and the older Rangel disappeared the same day, and police put out press releases saying they were searching for them and a white 2004 Ford F-150.
Police didn’t reveal how the woman and the men were connected. The 45-year-old man wasn’t named as a murder suspect. They also didn’t say if they knew the whereabouts of the men.
Las Vegas Justice Court online records don’t show that a warrant for the younger Rangel had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
Left unmentioned in the stories is any explanation for how or why her phone pinged in Los Angeles. We expect more details and will be watching for them.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Longhorn Hotel and Casino released video surveillance from the night missing 22-year-old Lesly Palacio who was last seen leaving the property.
A hotel spokesperson said Ms. Palacio was accompanied when she arrived early Saturday morning on Aug. 29, just after midnight before leaving at 2:00 a.m.
“They arrived on premise […] and departed […] voluntarily and on her own accord,” the hotel said. “While here, they ate in the restaurant and then left.”
In a statement, the property said due to defamatory remarks made against the Longhorn, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has authorized the release of the video.
Several rumors have circulated surrounding the woman’s disappearance but details remained extremely scarce.
Last week, LVMPD detectives considered foul play as a motive for her disappearance and was transferred to the agency’s section.
We have a copy of the surveillance video and will be posting a video summary of what we know in the case soon.