A man accused of killing his boyfriend and dumping his severed head, hands and feet below the Hollywood sign two years ago was being held in Texas with bail set at $1 million, pending an extradition hearing.
Gabriel Campos-Martinez, 36, faces a single count of murder in the 2012 death of his partner, Hervey Medellin, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.
Campos-Martinez was arrested by LAPD's elite robbery-homicide detectives Sunday in San Antonio, Texas. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in state prison.
Ed Winter, the deputy chief of investigations at the Los Angeles County coroner's office, said that Medellin probably died of asphyxia and neck compression but noted other injuries were unknown because only the head, hands and feet were recovered.
Still, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace said the body parts were enough to indicate Medellin was killed after he vanished shortly after Christmas 2011.
Grace said Medellin's eyes showed classic “signs of strangulation.” Grace said Medellin was last seen Dec. 26, and investigators believe that Campos-Martinez, a former chef, killed him the next day.
It remains unclear where the slaying occurred, and Campos-Martinez has not admitted to any crime, Grace said.
The motive was "due to the relationship," Grace said.
The prosecutor said the couple met through another man, and that Campos-Martinez may have learned Medellin was about to end their relationship.
“Somehow either directly or indirectly, he may have gotten the hint he wasn’t going to be around and that triggered him to do this,” Grace said.
Detectives carefully assembled the case over two years, gathering evidence that led to the arrest and charges, Grace said. The prosecutor said Campos-Martinez made statements to investigators "not matching the facts" of the case, including claims Medellin had gone to Mexico.
There is "no evidence" that such a trip occurred, Grace said.
“The facts don’t match his statements about the disappearance," Grace said.
Dog walkers discovered Medellin's head wrapped in a plastic bag. Authorities launched a massive search with cadaver dogs and found two feet and a hand wrapped in a Rite Aid bag and buried in a shallow grave. The second hand was found later.
Medellin was identified using fingerprints from the right hand, according to the court documents.
The case generated widespread speculation, including theories that Medellin's death was tied to a Mexican drug cartel or to a model and porn actor suspected in a dismemberment in Canada.
Six months after Medellin was identified, a $50,000 reward was offered in the case.
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