Crime Stories with Nancy Grace podcast

Body Bags with Joseph Scott Morgan: Unearthed in Vegas - The Esmeralda Gonzalez Story

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A young Instagram model, Esmeralda Gonzalez, disappears in Las Vegas. In this episode of Body Bags, hosts Joseph Scott Morgan and Dave Mack examine this chilling case reminiscent of old school "Mob justice,"  but this is a cover-up involving a U-Haul, 300 pounds of Quickcrete, lime, and a large water tank.  All-in-all the set up reveals the peculiarities of a crime scene that mirrors a Hollywood thriller.  Hear the harsh reality of forensics as it unravels the effects of the desert environment on human remains, the recovery of the victim's jewelry, and the painstaking process of identification. 

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00:00 - Introduction.

01:20 - Case of Esmeralda Gonzalez: introduction and discussion.

03:05 - Esmeralda's life, circumstances, and disappearance.

04:00 - Vulnerabilities and dangers in Las Vegas.

05:45 - Predatory tactics towards individuals with mental illnesses.

07:15 - Introduction of felon Christopher Prestapino and his criminal background.

09:25 - The ordeal Esmeralda faced in Prestapino's house.

10:25 - Discussion on the effects of acute mental illness and methamphetamine.

12:10 - Conditions under which Esmeralda was kept and her experiences.

14:15 - Analysis of Prestapino's fear, paranoia, and further criminal acts.

15:30 - Prestapino's dilemma after Esmeralda's death.

17:30 - Effects and application of pool cleaner injection.

20:40 - Timeline of Esmeralda's disappearance and discovery of her body.

21:35 - Prestapino's attempt to dispose of the body and suspicious activities.

24:15 - Analysis of Prestapino's thought process and planning of the crime.

26:30 - Gruesome details of how Esmeralda's remains were encased.

27:45 - Actions leading to Prestapino's downfall.

29:10 - Challenges faced by forensic scientists during the case.

30:15 - Discovery of Esmeralda's jewelry and its implications.

31:45 - Discussion of the brutal nature of the crime and attempts to hide it.

32:35 - Decomposition and identification challenges in the harsh desert environment.

33:20 - Resolution of the case and the pursuit of justice.

33:30 - Outro.

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