Only suspect in 2016 Aurora homicide killed in El Salvador shooting

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AURORA, Colo. — The only suspect in the 2016 death of an Aurora woman was killed in a shooting in El Salvador, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The DA’s office said Thursday that Carlos Miguel Rivera-Juarez, 26, was shot to death in Usulutan, El Salvador on Dec. 7, 2018.

Rivera-Juarez is suspected of killing Jessica Gabriela Plata-Ledezma, 22. Her body was found in a closet in an abandoned apartment in the 1100 block of South Waco Street in August 2016. The coroner said she had been stabbed 11 times and shot once in the head.

Investigators learned Rivera-Juarez and Plata-Ledezma had used methamphetamine together.

“They were contacted together during a traffic stop in 2015. Rivera-Juarez was taken into custody and charged, but Plata-Ledezma was released from the scene. After this incident, Rivera-Juarez told numerous witnesses that he believed Plata-Ledezma had ‘snitched’ on him,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

Investigators found evidence at the crime scene linking Rivera-Juarez to Plata-Ledezma’s death. Included in the evidence were two narcotic pipes found next to Plata-Ledezma’s body that had Rivera-Juarez’s DNA on them. He also reportedly confessed to several people.

A warrant was issued for Rivera-Juarez’s death in April 2017. However, he had been living in the U.S. illegally and was deported to El Salvador on Sept. 30, 2016.

The DA’s office said Rivera-Juarez’s death means the case is now closed.

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