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San Antonio police make third arrest -- the suspect's mother -- in Christmastime slaying of pregnant teen

Ramon Preciado, 53, (left) was arrested Wednesday for abuse of a corpse while assisting his son Christopher Preciado, 19, (right) who allegedly shot and killed Mattew Guerra and Savannah Soto.
Courtesy photo
Ramon Preciado, 53, (left) was arrested Wednesday for abuse of a corpse while assisting his son Christopher Preciado, 19, (right) who allegedly shot and killed Mattew Guerra and Savannah Soto.

San Antonio police on Wednesday arrested a third suspect in the Christmastime slaying of Matthew Guerra and Savannah Soto.

Christopher Preciado, 19, and his father, Ramon Preciado, 53, were arrested last week for the shooting and for attempting to conceal the remains.

On Wednesday, a police spokesperson said Myrta Romanos was also arrested for her role in the killings. The woman, who is Christopher's mother, allegedly assisted in trying to conceal the bodies. She will be charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

The gun used to kill 18 year old Soto and 22 year old Guerra was identified by Romanos as her weapon. She was taken to Bexar County Jail to await indictment.

SAPD investigators said they were confident that they arrested everyone involved at this point.

Christopher, who faces capital murder charges, has said Guerra pointed a gun at him and the deaths occurred accidentally as he attempted to wrestle the gun away.

Police disputed the account and said the wounds don't match the story.

The weapon was found in the Preciados' home after a search warrant was issued.

Initially, Christopher was charged with capital murder and his father Ramon, who allegedly helped move their bodies into the car where they were found, was charged with abuse of a corpse.

It was expected that the capital murder charge against Christopher Preciado will include the deaths of Guerra, Soto, and her unborn child.

Soto and Guerra went missing on Dec. 21, just two days before Soto was scheduled to be induced for an overdue labor. Soto's mother filed a missing persons report with police.

Their remains were discovered in Guerra's Kia Optima the day after Christmas, parked at an apartment complex located miles from their home.

A surveillance video released by SAPD, allegedly of the Preciados, brought in many tips but most were wrong.

The video from the apartment complex where the car was found showed a heavy-set man matching Ramon Preciado's description arrive in a gray truck, a Chevy Silverado.

He exited and spoke with the driver of Guerra's car. The driver, a Latino, doesn't look like Guerra. The man wiped down the outside of the car with a towel where he had touched it and then followed the car behind the building where it was later found. The truck then drove off.

"It is believed the victims were already deceased in the vehicle," the arresting document explained. Guerra had been "dragged into" the back of the car, possibly so that someone could drive it from where the shooting had occurred.

Guerra was a drug dealer, according to police, and often posted images of drugs and money on his Instagram page.

Christopher Preciado told police that the couple drove to his house on Charlie Chan Drive to sell him marijuana. He said Guerra pointed a gun at him, and after a struggle, Preciado inadvertently killed Soto. He then shot Guerra.

Investigators said they didn't believe the story, and they arrested him for intentionally killing both Soto and Guerra.

In a statement, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales commended "the SAPD for working diligently and effectively to investigate these murders and make arrests."

He explained that according to "Texas law, a person can be charged with capital murder when there is more than one victim in a murder and there is evidence to believe the defendant caused the death of the individuals. In this case, defendant Christopher Preciado can be charged with capital murder because Savannah Soto and Matthew Guerra were both killed."

Gonzales added: "Moreover, under Texas law, an unborn child is included in the definition of a person. Therefore, Christopher Preciado can be charged with an additional count of capital murder for the death of baby Fabian."

He also said that if a grand jury indicts Christopher Preciado, "our capital crimes committee will consider whether to seek the death penalty."

Correction: A previous version of this story included an incorrect name for Christopher Preciado.

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Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org