Three charged in Utah after woman found dead in trunk of car

Local News

MONA, Utah (ABC4) – Charges have been filed against three people after a woman was found dead in a vehicle in central Utah. Earlier this week, details about two of the people were released, including a statement from one admitting to killing the woman.

Sunday afternoon, the Juab County Sheriff’s Office was called to a disturbance at a Mona gas station, located about 77 miles south of Salt Lake City. Deputies and officers from the Nephi Police Department arrived on the scene to find a woman dead in the trunk of a car, partially hidden under several bags and clothing. According to authorities, she had been shot.

When law enforcement arrived on scene, they say three people were taken into custody – Mestas, Sanchez, and a woman. They appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to investigators. According to authorities, the incident in Mona allegedly began in South Dakota.

Two people, David Manuel Mestas and Richard Anthony Sanchez, both 26-years-old, were taken into custody. Newly-released court documents show a woman, 22-year-old Christina Zoey Ann Sanchez is also facing charges unrelated to the death of the unidentified woman.

Christina Sanchez tells authorities she talked to the victim about being pistol-whipped by a man. The victim reportedly told her she knew who had done it and told the man she knew what happened, even though Sanchez asked her not to tell him. The victim allegedly set the woman up with the man who pistol-whipped her. When the man arrived, a shooting took place and police say Mestas and Sanchez may have been involved. Charging documents accuse Mestas of conspiring to kill the man, luring him to a location where he attempted to murder the man.

After that, Mestas, Sanchez, and both women left South Dakota with plans to drive to Las Vegas. Before leaving, they stopped at a gun store and purchased firearms. When speaking with Mestas, authorities say he confessed to the homicide, saying he had been using methamphetamine heavily during the trip from South Dakota. During the ride, Mestas also says he heard the others talking about him. He tells investigators he believed the victim was calling him a snitch. That is when the man says he lifted the gun up and pointed it at her multiple times.

Authorities say Mestas told them he did not know why he did this and admitted to pulling the trigger. He adds that he and the other man relocated the woman’s body to the rear of the vehicle and tried to hide her. Rapid City Police tell ABC4 affiliate KELO the woman killed is 23-year-old Dominique Brave of Rapid City, South Dakota.

Court documents show Mestas faces seven charges: aggravated murder, possession of a dangerous weapon, obstructing justice, theft by receiving stolen property, abuse or desecration of a dead body, possession or use of a controlled substance, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Richard Sanchez has been charged with obstructing justice, theft by receiving stolen property, abuse or desecration of a dead boy, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, possession or use of a controlled substance, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Christina Sanchez faces charges of theft by receiving stolen property, possession or use of a controlled substance, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and purchasing/transferring/possessing/using a firearm by a restricted person.

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