Tucson Man Arrested For Killing Cousin, Buried Body Parts Across Pima County

Gerardo Salinas [Photo via Tucson Police Department Facebook]

TUCSON – Police have arrested Gerardo Salinas for the murder of 17-year-old Sofia Hurtado, that occurred last week on Tucson’s East Side.

According to Tucson Police, on March 22, 2020, officers responded to a residence in the 6600 block of East Calle Alegria for a report of a missing juvenile. Officers spoke with the 32-year-old Salinas who reported that his cousin Sofia had been missing since March 19, 2020.

Gerardo told officers that Sofia lives in Mexico with her mother, but on March 15, 2020, he drove to Mexico and brought her back to Tucson for a visit. He told officers that Sofia had been staying with him at his residence, along with his live-in girlfriend and their two young children. Gerardo let officers inside of his home and showed them where Sofia had been staying. Once inside, officers located evidence of what appeared to be dried blood. There was also missing furniture in the room where Sofia had supposedly been sleeping, according to Tucson Police.

After Salinas and his live-in girlfriend and collecting evidence, detectives determined that a violent crime had been committed in different locations inside of the home. In a nearby dumpster, detectives recovered a trash bag containing items belonging to Salinas along with female clothing that appeared to be blood stained.

Detectives also learned that on March 18, 2020, Sofia sent a message to a friend in Mexico saying she was not safe and needed help. The friend notified Sofia’s mother, who immediately attempted to reach Gerardo, but was unsuccessful. Once she finally reached Gerardo by phone, he advised Sofia had run away. Sofia’s mother then instructed Gerardo to report her as missing.

After gathering evidence from the scene and re-interviewing Gerardo, detectives were able to locate several different burial sites throughout Pima County. The remains of Sophia Hurtado were located and recovered at each site.

Salinas was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail on charges of First Degree Murder, Kidnapping and Abandoning and Concealing a Dead Body.

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