According to the Tucson Police Department, Gerardo Salinas, 32, is being held in the Pima County Adult Detention Complex for first-degree murder, kidnapping and abandoning and concealing the dead body of Sofia Hurtado, 17, his cousin from Mexico who disappeared a few days after she came for a visit.
The remains of Hurtado were discovered at a number of burial sites across Pima County.
The teen went missing on March 19 after Salinas picked her up from Mexico, where she resided with her family. He took her back March 15 to Tucson for her visit, stated in a news release from the Tucson Police Department. Salinas admitted in an interview with investigators that he brought Hurtado to his house, located at the 6600 block of East Calle Alegria, where he resided with his live-in girlfriend and their children.
Investigators inspected what looked like dried blood in Salinas' house and they returned with a search warrant.
Forensic evidence alluded to a violent crime that transpired in the home and investigators discovered a female's bloody clothing in a trash container.
It was not made clear on Thursday if Salinas has a lawyer yet.
The release stated that Salinas called the police on March 22 from a residence near Tanque Verde and Kolb roads to report a missing teenager/runaway child named Sofia Hurtado, who originally lived with her mother in Mexico but was staying with Salinas.
Salinas let police officers inside their home and showed them where the teenager had been staying. Aside from the dried blood, furniture was missing from the room where she had been sleeping.
Detectives interrogated Salinas and his girlfriend.
When the premises were searched, aside from the crime being violent, it was said to have been committed in different locations inside the home.
Upon her arrival in Mexico, Hurtado sent a message to a friend in Mexico "saying she was not safe and needed help." The friend told Hurtado's mother, who tried to contact Salinas but was not successful.
When Hurtado's mother finally reached Salinas, he told her that Hurtado ran away.
The mother told Salinas to report the girl to the police as missing.
According to the news release, Hurtado's remains were discovered and recovered from each one of the burial sites around Pima County.
Tucson police are asking people to come forward with information by calling 88-CRIME, wherein callers can remain anonymous. The investigation of the detectives is still ongoing.
Salinas was admitted to custody and imprisoned in the Pima County Jail where he is being confined on a $1 million bond. Hurtado's family was notified.
For the abandonment or concealment of a dead body, anyone who violates this section is guilty of a class 5 felony.