A Long Beach massage therapist was charged Thursday with the death of a woman who went into cardiac arrest while receiving a buttock augmentation three years ago, officials said.
Sandra Yaneth Pérez-Gonzalez, who also goes by Sandra Yaneth Slaughter, is facing one count of murder for the February 2014 death, said Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Pérez-Gonzalez is being held on $2-million bail, authorities said.
If Pérez-Gonzalez is convicted, she faces life in prison, he said.
Pérez-Gonzalez, 45, was taken into custody Tuesday on an arrest warrant in connection with Hamilet Suarez's death, said Marlene Arrona, a spokeswoman for Long Beach Police Department.
Arrona declined to release details about the evidence that led to Pérez-Gonzalez's arrest.
Detectives started investigating Pérez-Gonzalez three years ago.
On the afternoon of Feb. 12, 2014, they were called to Areli's Beauty Salon in the 2000 block of Pacific Avenue to assist firefighters with a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest "under suspicious circumstances," police said.
When officers arrived, they found firefighters performing CPR on Suarez. She was taken to a hospital, where she later died.
According to police, officers were initially told the 36-year-old Long Beach resident had gone to the salon for a massage, but went into cardiac arrest before the massage started.
Authorities said the details about Suarez's visit to the salon were inconsistent, so homicide detectives launched an investigation.
They soon discovered Pérez-Gonzalez was renting a treatment room in the salon and performed an illegal buttock enhancement on Suarez, authorities said.
According to police, Pérez-Gonzalez was a licensed massage therapist and had provided those services to clients.
She was not licensed to perform medical beauty procedures, even though she had been advertising those services, police said.
In her advertisements, authorities said, Pérez-Gonzalez alleged she could perform buttock enhancements, lip augmentations and Vampire facelifts – a procedure in which a patient's blood is drawn and reinjected into their face.
During the investigation, detectives found multiple vials of drugs or chemicals used in beauty medical procedures inside Pérez-Gonzalez's treatment room. Medical equipment was also found in the room.
At the time, Pérez-Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of possessing controlled substances.