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Suspect in 2016 Aurora homicide case killed in El Salvador

Posted at 8:23 AM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 10:23:35-04

AURORA, Colo. — The only suspect in a homicide from 2016 in Aurora was shot to death in El Salvador in early December.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Carlos Miguel Rivera-Juarez, 26, was wanted in Aurora for the August 2016 murder of Jessica Gabriela Plata-Ledezma, 22. Her body was found in the closet of an abandoned apartment on the 1100 block of S. Waco Street.

The coroner determined she had been stabbed 11 times and shot once in the head. Evidence at the scene tied Rivera-Juarez to the crime.

During the investigation, authorities learned that they used methamphetamine together. At the scene of her murder, they found two narcotic pipes near the woman’s body with Rivera-Juarez's DNA on them. He also confessed the murder to several people, according to the district attorney’s office.

In 2015, they were found together during a traffic stop and Rivera-Juarez was taken into custody and charged, but Plata-Ledezma was released at the scene. After this incident, Rivera-Juarez told witnesses he believed she had “snitched” on him.

After the crime, a warrant for his arrest was issued on April 7, 2017. But he had been in the United States illegally and had already been deported to El Salvador in September 2016. He was fatally shot in Usulutan, El Salvador on Dec. 7, 2018.

With the only suspect in Plata-Ledezma’s death now dead, the case is closed, according to the district attorney’s office.