UPDATE: Mexican police have found the abandoned car of Armando Gabriel Perez in Tijuana, and it now sounds like he’s a serial wife beater who assaulted his previous wife as well. He was recently fired from his job of 14 years after failing to show up for work. See update after the jump…
19-year-old Diana Gonzalez was studying to be a nurse at San Diego City
College. But while her studies were going well, her marriage was not.
She was estranged from her husband, Armando Gabriel Perez, 37, whom
she’d only been married to since January.
And he wasn’t the kind to let his wife walk around the freely. On September 23, Perez showed up at the college and began arguing with her, refusing to leave. He choked and beat her in the parking lot until she lost consciousness, then drove her to a motel. When she came to, he told her to “Just close your eyes and pray. That’s all you can do now,” she would later write in a police complaint.
Over three days, she was kept captive in the motel, where Perez raped her. He took her to the store to get medicine to reduce the swelling on her face, but when she tried to escape by running down the street, he caught her and shoved her back in the car. He finally released her the following day.
Diana filed a criminal complaint and asked for a protection order. She got the order, but Perez was released September 29 due to insufficient evidence. It was his second stroke of degenerate’s luck. He also had a wife beating charge dismissed a year ago.
Diana’s family began to escort her where ever she went. Her parents were waiting in the parking lot for her Tuesday night as she attended class at college. She was supposed to finish by 9:30, but when she didn’t emerge from the building, her parents called police.
A student ended up finding her body in a men’s room just after 10. She’d been beaten so bad police had difficulty making an identification.
Detectives are now searching for Perez. He’s driving a 1999 blue Mustang with California plates 6GKA572. There’s a good chance he’s in Mexico, since he has a sister in Tijuana. (Special thanks to reader Randy Folds PhD for the tip.)
UPDATE: Armando Gabriel Perez’s car has been found in Tijuana.
After killing Diana, he apparently scurried across the border, leaving three children and a dead wife behind.
As you’d expect, Perez’s history shows all the signs of a wife-beating loser. And given that record, it remains to be seen why he wasn’t in jail for kidnapping after Diana pressed charges last month.
In 2009, Perez was charged with domestic violence months before he divorced his last wife. Olga Vera-Perez says he choked her and threw her against an entertainment center in an argument over money. But that charge was also dismissed.
It also appears that Armando Perez was under increased pressure at the time of Diana’s killing. Not only was he estranged from his new wife, but he’d recently lost his job of 14 years as a cabinet maker. Perez has a 13-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter with his previous wife. He also has a 10-month-old son with Diana. But according to his former boss, he struggled with making daycare arrangements, and often failed to show up for work.
He left all that behind when he apparently beat and stabbed Diana to death. And now that he’s in Mexico, the chances of him ever being arrested have just dropped dramatically.
See our last tale from the Homicide file: John Paul Webb, This Guy’s Gotta Die: Crushed His 1-Month-Old Baby’s Skull In.