(SAN ANTONIO) — A father and son arrested in connection with the fatal shootings of pregnant teenager Savanah Soto and her boyfriend in Texas now face additional charges, police said Friday.
San Antonio police said they arrested Christopher Preciado, 19, and his father, Ramon Preciado, 53, on Wednesday, more than a week after the bodies of Soto and her boyfriend, Matthew Guerra, were found in a car in an apartment complex parking lot.
The son was initially charged with capital murder and the father abuse of a corpse, police said.
The son now also faces the charge of abuse of a corpse and both face the charge of altering, destroying or concealing evidence of a human corpse, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters on Friday.
McManus said police also recovered a firearm from their home that is believed to be the murder weapon.
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told reporters Friday that it is “too early to tell” whether his office will pursue the death penalty. He said they have 90 days to indict the cases.
“I anticipate that we will have indictments returned, but we have to wait and let the grand jury make that decision,” he said. “After that, then we will take it to the next level and make whatever decisions that we need.”
Soto, 18, and Guerra, 22, were found dead on Dec. 26, days after the Texas mom-to-be was scheduled to be induced. Both victims had a gunshot wound, police said.
Soto’s cellphone, collected at the scene, was a critical piece of information for officers, San Antonio Sgt. Washington Moscoso told news media late Wednesday during a press briefing announcing the arrests.
Detectives used her phone to find a possible location of the suspect’s vehicle from surveillance video, which police previously released when issuing a call for the public’s help, Moscoso said.
Police then found the vehicle and the house the vehicle was connected to, Moscoso said. The father answered the door, and the authorities interviewed him and his son, the sergeant added.
Moscoso said that based on what they said during the interview, there was enough information for police to get a search warrant, which led to the charges Wednesday night.
The Preciados were walked to waiting police vehicles in front of the media during Wednesday’s press briefing. It wasn’t immediately clear if either had legal representation.
The sergeant told the media it appeared to have been a possible narcotics deal gone bad.
The father was not there for the murders but was called afterward, according to Moscoso.
Police initially said an 18-year-old full-term pregnant woman and a 22-year-old man believed to be Soto and her boyfriend were discovered dead in a Kia Optima in San Antonio last Tuesday. An unborn child was also found deceased, police said at the time. The vehicle had likely been at that location for several days, according to the authorities.
In the days following the discovery, the medical examiner identified the victims as Soto and Guerra, police said.
Police released footage on Dec. 28 of two persons of interest being sought in connection with the case. One was captured driving the victims’ Kia Optima, and the other was seen driving a dark-colored pickup truck, police said.
Soto was last seen on Dec. 22 in Leon Valley, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The agency issued a CLEAR Alert — used to help law enforcement locate someone in imminent danger or whose disappearance is involuntary — for Soto on Monday.
The pregnant teen had passed her delivery date, which “caused significant concern among her family members after missing an essential medical appointment,” the Leon Valley Police Department previously said.
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