Christopher Prestipino is the Las Vegas, Nevada man who is accused in the grisly murder of Esmeralda Gonzalez, an Instagram glamour model who was discovered buried in a makeshift concrete box in the desert.
The body was discovered October 8, 2019, months after Gonzalez, 24, was reported missing. The newspaper describes Gonzalez as working “in the adult entertainment industry.” Gonzalez had more than 300,000 followers on an Instagram page laden with partially clad glamour shots; her Facebook and Instagram pages say she was also a college student. Lisa Mort is accused of helping Prestipino. Another woman is accused of participating but has not been arrested, The Review Journal reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Chris Prestipino, a Stagehand at a Casino, Is Accused of Murder & Kidnapping in the Gruesome Case
Chris Prestipino is 45 years old. He now stands accused of Gonzalez’s murder with Lisa Mort, 31, being accused of acting as a co-conspirator. For months, Gonzalez’s family had devoted itself to find her, even creating a Facebook page to further that quest.
However, months after she disappeared, Gonzalez’s body was discovered buried inside a “concrete and wooden structure” in a desert area near Las Vegas, according to The Review Journal.
According to his LinkedIn page, Chris Prestipino worked as a “stagehand-Audio Visual Technician” at Bally’s/Paris Hotel in Las Vegas from 1999 to present. He said he was single on Facebook. He’s accused of telling a friend that “he killed the missing girl,” the newspaper reported. He’s currently in custody. Here’s his jail booking sheet:
A witness claimed that Gonzalez went to Prestipino’s house and did methamphetamine, the Las Vegas newspaper reported. He’s then accused of renting a U-Haul to bury her body, becoming frantic when he and another woman allegedly left a dolly in the desert.
2. Christopher Prestipino Is a Felon With a Previous Methamphetamine Case
Clark County online court records show that Prestipino is a felon. He has multiple drug cases on his criminal history, including one for manufacturing meth. Mort is accused of harboring, concealing or aiding a felon. Prestipino is accused of murder and kidnapping.
Mort also has a drug history. She’s Prestipino’s girlfriend.
His felony case for drug dealing dates to 2001 and resulted in a suspended sentence and probation.
Another drug case in his name is from 2005. He sued the Nevada Police Department in civil court for return of property.
3. Prestipino Posted Selfies on Facebook & a Creepy Photo Collage of a Rubber Doll
The first thing that strikes you about Prestipino’s Facebook page is the ribald jokes on it. The cover photo shows a rubber sex doll. His profile picture appears to show him with a wacky waving inflatable tube man on his private parts.
He liked a variety of television shows on his Facebook page. Among them: Dexter. He shared a graphic showing a saltine cracker with the words “Proud to be a…” He liked a page selling “fetish art.” Photos on his page indicate he has family ties in New York. Some photos show him with women. Here’s his mugshot and that of Mort:
According to online records, Prestipino has past addresses in New Jersey as well as Nevada. Yearbook records show him graduating from a New Jersey high school.
4. Prestipino Is Accused of Tying up Gonzalez, Giving Her Meth & Then Murdering Her
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police had launched an effort to find Gonzalez, whom they described as a missing adult, age 24 and standing only 5 foot tall. She was last seen in the area of Durango and Peble, the police noted.
“On May 31st she walked out of her front door and hasn’t been seen since. Please share with your friends and family,” a Facebook page devoted to finding her wrote before Gonzalez’s body was discovered in what the Gazette Journal described as a “homemade concrete and wooden structure.”
An anonymous tip led police to Prestipino, who lived in the 9000 block of Iron Cactus Avenue, Review Journal reported. According to KTNV, authorities allege that Prestipino was seen “purchasing 5 60 pound bags of concrete mix.” The Las Vegas newspaper quoted a prosecutor as alleging in court records that “Esmeralda was at Christopher’s house, and he ended up getting her high on methamphetamine. Christopher was not aware of Esmeralda’s mental problems, and she started acting bizarre and speaking in the devil’s tongue.”
She threatened to tell police that Prestipino had given her drugs and was “left tied up to a bedpost for an extended period of time,” the court records seen by the newspaper allege. After murdering Gonzalez, he’s accused of taking a week off work to figure out a way to move a wooden box full of concrete to the desert. One person told police it might have been a “sex fetish game that might have gone wrong,” the newspaper quoted the court documents as saying.
5. Gonzalez’s Family Remembered Her Smile & ‘Bubbly Energy’
A post on the Facebook page devoted to finding Gonzalez said the family missed her smile, laugh and “bubbly energy.” On Facebook, Gonzalez wrote that a “life without dreaming is a life without meaning.” She studied at UNLV and was from Michoacán, Mexico, she wrote on Facebook, adding that she was married. Her page is also full of glamour shots.
Posts on the Facebook page devoted to finding her indicated that Gonzalez was a “dear daughter, sister, friend and student of UNLV” who suffered from “schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.” Her brother told Fox5Vegas that it had “been an absolute nightmare not knowing where she is. We’re just worried about her everyday, constantly thinking about her.”
In September 2019, the page noted: “Esmeralda has been missing for 99 days. Our page was temporarily down to attempt to give Esmeralda’s family a break from the emotional toll of this experience. Thank you everyone for your positive wishes and continued concern.”
KTNV reported that Gonzalez was last seen the day before she disappeared at a car dealership and later on a home surveillance camera. She was “dressed only in lingerie and high heels” and acted “dispirited,” the television station reported.
According to the Review Journal, Gonzalez was seen walking around in that outfit asking for a ride and then tried to open a door to a home but was advised by the homeowners that she was at the wrong house.
Her Instagram page described her as:
“? BA in Communication
? Real Estate Investor
? Paid shoots only.”
Her Instagram page showed her in multiple scantily clad photos.