Boyfriend, friend accused of dumping body of San Jose woman down Fremont hillside

Byby Melanie Woordrow via KGO logo
Saturday, February 27, 2016
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Authorities are now saying a San Jose woman who disappeared after attending a party in Hayward was indeed killed by her boyfriend, but he didn't act alone.

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities are now saying a San Jose woman, who disappeared after attending a party in Hayward, was indeed killed by her boyfriend, and he didn't act alone.

Esmid Pedraza was in court for the first time since being charged with murdering his girlfriend Stacey Aguilar. Pedraza's friend Donato Perez, was also in court. He was charged with being an accessory after the fact for allegedly helping Pedraza dump Aguilar's body.

According to charging documents, at 1 a.m. on Valentine's Day, Pedraza, who had been at a Hayward party with Aguilar, went outside and used a handgun to shoot her. Perez, who heard the gunshots, also came outside. Pedraza allegedly admitted he killed Aguilar. The two then allegedly drove her body to Morrison Canyon Road in Fremont and rolled it down the hillside.

ABC7 News reporter Sergio Quintana called Aguilar's mother in Mexico by phone Friday and found out she checked herself into a hospital because of the stress of this horrific case.

WATCH VIDEO: Immigration status surfaces of man accused of murdering girlfriend

Pedraza's relative agreed to speak without revealing his identity.

"It's a shock, shock to everybody, shock to the family," he said. "A lot of the family was surprised, more than anything, just because we never [saw] it coming, never [saw] anything like that with him, any type of violence or [anything] like that."

During interviews Perez told investigators the two got rid of Aguilar's ID, credit cards and cellphone. Also that he helped Pedraza clean his vehicle afterwards, which had blood in it. Perez told investigators they took it to a car wash. Investigators say surveillance video confirmed that information.

Two days after Aguilar's murder, deputies located blood in Pedraza's vehicle and arrested Pedraza for domestic violence. Hayward Police detectives found Aguilar's body nearly a week after her murder. Four days later they took Pedraza into custody on a Ramey Warrant for murder. He was already in federal custody on an immigration hold.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a statement Friday afternoon about a previous detention by the agency: "Mr. Pedraza was remanded to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in August 2013 after serving a jail term following his conviction for driving under the influence. After conducting a comprehensive review of Mr. Pedraza's criminal and immigration history, which indicated just one prior conviction involving the DUI charge (a misdemeanor), ICE released Mr. Pedraza on a $2,500 bond awaiting the outcome of removal proceedings before the immigration court. At the time of his most recent arrest, Mr. Pedraza's immigration case remained pending.Due to the limited availability of detention space, ICE prioritizes the use of its immigration detention beds for convicted felons, known gang members, and other individuals whose conviction records indicate they pose a likely threat to public safety."

Aguilar's mother previously told ABC7 News by phone from Mexico she was suspicious of Pedraza.

Pedraza's family member said he hadn't met Aguilar. Also that Pedraza has a young daughter.

"He was a good dad he's a good guy," he said.

Aguilar leaves behind two children.

If you would like to help Aguilar's family, click here to donate.