A murder warrant has been issued in the death of a Pleasant Grove woman who went missing a year ago.
Marisol Espinoza’s body was found in a creek in March after she went missing on Dec. 29, 2015. At the time, her ex- boyfriend, Faustino Valdez, said she disappeared on her way to work at a North Dallas salon.
On Thursday, exactly one year since Espinosa’s disappearance, Dallas police issued a murder warrant for Valdez, the father of two of her children. Family members said he was the last person to see her alive.
In a January interview with FOX 4, Valdez insisted Espinosa was alive the last time he saw her when she left his home on Aurora Avenue.
“She left the house fine. She got ready like she always does,” Valdez claimed. “She took a shower, got ready, put her clothes on and put her makeup on. She kissed me goodbye and told me she was leaving.”
A few days later Valdez was gone, too. His family says they haven't heard from him since January 4.
The case took a turn in January when Espinosa’s cousin, Elias Trujillo, found her abandoned Chevy Tahoe in the rear of an apartment parking lot off Loop 12 and Pemberton Hill Road in South Dallas County, just three miles from her home. Investigators found Espinosa’s purse, phone case and other items in the abandoned Tahoe.
In March, volunteers searching for abandoned dogs discovered Espinosa's body near Dowdy Ferry Road in Southeast Dallas.
Police say Valdez was not initially a suspect when in Espinosa's disappearance when it was classified as a missing person case. It's not clear where he may be now. He was initially present in the search for Espinosa but hasn’t been heard from since a few days after her disappearance.
After Valdez went missing, a judge granted custody of his two children to Espinosa's mother, Rosemary. The judge was concerned about his history of family violence.
Family and friends of Espinosa gathered on Thursday to mark exactly one year since her disappearance. It also happened to be the day police announced her ex-boyfriend is a suspect in her murder.
Anyone with information on Valdez’s whereabouts is urged to immediately call 911 or Homicide Detective C. Shelton, at 214-283-4900.