By Henry Lee KTVU
GILROY, Calif. (KION-TV) Update Oct. 4, 2023, at 12:50 p.m.- Gilroy Police are providing new details in the murder of a Salinas mother of two who was reported missing in early August.
Ivan Alfaro Escobedo, a 31-year-old man from Gilroy, is accused of killing and dismembering his girlfriend before burning her body because she told Gilroy Police that he had raped and assaulted her, authorities said.
Alyssa Nicole Salazar, 33, reported the alleged rape and physical assault to the Gilroy Police Department on April 27. An arrest warrant for domestic violence was issued for Salazar's boyfriend, Ivan Alfaro Escobedo, as police continued to investigate the rape allegation.
Three months later, Salazar's sister and grandmother received threatening phone calls from a man they believed to be Escobedo. He had allegedly threatened to kill Salazar and her family if she reported the rape, according to Gilroy police.
On July 26, surveillance video captured Salazar at 12:30 p.m. leaving the Steinbeck Library in Salinas. She was recorded getting into the front passenger seat of Escobedo's gray 2007 Honda Accord, which then left the parking lot.
Authorities said that Salazar's last communication with anyone was a phone call from Escobedo's phone at 12:33 p.m. on the same day.
On August 30, Escobedo was arrested while driving his Honda Accord. Inside the vehicle, officers said they found a 9mm handgun.
Additionally, there were reddish-brown stains on the front passenger door frame and the front passenger seat foam. Testing confirmed that the stains were blood, and DNA collected from the blood stains matched a DNA profile for Salazar, police investigators said.
A witness later told investigators that they had seen Escobedo in July at his sister's trailer, located in the area of 191 Young Road. The witness stated that they observed a fire burning for several days in barrels next to the trailer in late July.
On August 30, investigators initiated a search of the property, where they discovered a barrel next to the trailer containing human bones, including rib fragments, a skull, and a hand.
According to Gilroy police, "A single source female DNA profile was obtained from the bones and Alyssa Salazar is included as a possible contributor. The probability of a random, unrelated individual having the same DNA profile is less than 1. in 6.7 quintillion."
Based on the findings at the property, the Santa Clara County coroner declared Salazar dead.
Two other witnesses reported that they had also seen Escobedo and his Honda Accord at his sister's property around July 26. They informed investigators that they saw Salazar slumped down in the front passenger seat of the suspect's vehicle, appearing motionless.
One of the witnesses said that a few days later, Escobedo confessed to shooting Salazar inside his car, dismembering her body in a bathtub inside his sister's trailer, and then burning the victim's remains in burn barrels.
Prosecutors have Escobedo charged with murder in Salazar's death.
On Wednesday, Escobedo refused to come to court, prompting the victim's sister Jessica Salazar to call the father of two daughters a "coward."
"May God never have your daughters run into a man like you. You're a pig," she said outside court.
"Alyssa will come to you every night in your dreams, and I hope you will see her every time you look at me and my sister. I hope you see her face," she said through sobs.
Gilroy Police Sgt. Lamonte Toney said the way in which the victim was killed was "definitely a violent act."
Toney says investigators were grateful they found her remains after months of not knowing what happened to her.
"I would just urge anyone who’s involved in domestic violence relationship to seek out help, seek out the police’s help or seek out help that’s out there, friends, family," Toney said.
Salinas mother reported missing remains found in south Santa Clara County field
Update Oct. 3, 2023, at 6:05 p.m.- A Salinas mother of two who was reported missing in early August had her body discovered in a south Santa Clara field.
Alyssa Salazar was reported missing and her sister told KION she has two daughters and would not go without speaking to them for too long. Which is what led them to believe the worst had happened.
Gilroy Police told KION that Salazar's remains were discovered in a field in south Santa Clara County. Police said they'd have more details tomorrow on the case.
They did not specify if any arrests had been made.
Gilroy Police says missing woman that frequents Salinas not heard from since early July
Gilroy Police says that the family of a Salinas native has not heard from her since early July.
Alyssa Salazar was reported missing on August 10, 2023. Police say she is known to frequent the Gilroy and Salinas areas.
Family said Salazar has two daughters and would not go a month without contacting them.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Jason Greathead at (408)846-0373 or email@example.com.