Missing Mesa woman, 3 others arrested in man's murder - KMSP-TV

Missing Mesa woman, 3 others arrested in man's murder

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Genaro Silva Genaro Silva
Vanessa Mendoza; Sylvia Olivas; Christopher Alejo Vanessa Mendoza; Sylvia Olivas; Christopher Alejo
MESA, Ariz. -

Four people are in custody Sunday in connection to a brutal beating that left one man dead.

It all started on Thursday after police made a welfare check at a Mesa apartment complex.

Mesa Police were searching for the resident of an apartment they were called out to since Thursday.

It was just in the past 24 hours that they were able to locate Vanessa Mendoza and her boyfriend, Genaro Silva. After talking to Silva, they were able to put the pieces of this very gruesome puzzle together.

"Clearly someone had been seriously injured or killed," said Detective Steve Berry, with Mesa Police.

Mesa Police describe it as a brutal and bloody scene.

Neighbors say the crime scene tape surrounded the entire apartment complex.

Last Thursday, a search began for the woman who lived in unit 225.

28-year old Vanessa Mendoza was found late Saturday in Chandler and has since been charged with concealment of a dead body, among other things.

Her boyfriend 32-year-old Genaro Silva is charged with second degree murder.

"I have met her and every time I met her she was always pleasant and you know who she run around with, you know most people that do know her, you know who they were," said Ed Lamken, a neighbor.  

Lamken saw the couple often.he minded his own business but wasn't shocked to learn about the murder.

According to the police report, on March 15 Silva came home to find Mendoza with another man.

He retrieved a hammer and struck the 39-year-old victim in the back of the head.

"The story grows from there. It seems like something out of a movie, but at some point Ms. Mendoza's mother and another friend of the suspect with the hammer arrive at the apartment," said Berry.  

Detective Steve Berry says 45-year-old Sylvia Olivas and 44-year-old Christopher Alejo helped the couple roll the victim in some bedding and then proceeded to an area on the Salt River Pima Indian Reservation where they doused the body with gasoline and set it on fire.

Detectives worked tirelessly for 48 hours to crack the case, eventually getting a confession from the man with the hammer.

"We did go there, we did find as described, unfortunately, the burned body of our victim. We were able to recover that and process that area for evidence as well," said Berry.

All four suspects face charges of concealment of a body and are in custody.

Alejo also faces charges for robbing the victim of some cash a cell phone and iPod.

Police tell us Mendoza did not make any comments to detectives when she was taken in.

Follow this story: Woman missing, blood found inside apartment

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