Suspect For Whom Two Murder Warrants Issued in Austin Cases is Also Implicated in Third Murder in Mexico
Two murder warrants issued for same suspect in a six month period. Authorities were also looking into the possibility that Pedro Espinoza was allegedly involved in another murder in Mexico. If you have any information on Espinoza please contact our hotline directly. You can always remain anonymous and you can text information 24/7: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).
On February 17, 2020, around 10:59 p.m., a harrowing call came in from a victim who said he was shot and couldn't feel his leg. There were multiple shots fired coming from a parking lot in the 7000 block of Grand Canyon Drive, Austin, TX, police said.
The victim who called for help, Carlos Vega, was deaf and it was difficult for the arriving officer to communicate with him. The other victim in the vehicle was 38-year-old Elvi Vanessa Cervantes-De La Torre and the pair used to date. She passed away due to her injuries and Vega was transported to the local hospital.
There was a gunman on the run at the time and all investigators had was a vague description of what he looked like and what happened at the scene. Detectives visited Vega in the hospital and they were able to communicate with him by writing questions and answers back and forth. Vega told authorities there was a large group of 10 Hispanic males and they were gathering and drinking in the parking lot where he and Vanessa were shot.
Vega said one of the men approached the car where he and Vanessa were sitting and talking. The suspect and Vanessa began to argue about the parking spot and the suspect, without warning, allegedly began shooting into the vehicle. Detectives said Vega tried to wrestle the gun down and away, but they were both severely injured.
The investigation soon led authorities to 42-year-old suspect Pedro Fuentes Espinoza. Espinoza was living in an apartment nearby and detectives searched his residence where they found evidence linking him to the scene. The Escalade vehicle Espinoza was driving was also located, but the car was a different color and was found painted black. Detectives believe the color was changed after another deadly incident only a few months before, also allegedly involving Espinoza.
Austin Police said on August 11, 2019, at 1:50 a.m., gunfire broke out at a local bar. Not only was one person killed, but two others were shot, who were identified only as a father and a son. The deceased victim was identified as 26-year-old Julio Cesar Gamez-Contreras. It was another deadly incident over a verbal argument at the establishment.
Two arrest warrants were issued for Espinoza. He's described as a lighter skinned, Hispanic male, with a stocky build, who was wearing a reflective vest at the time Vanessa was killed. He's known to wear a neatly trimmed beard or mustache.
As for Vanessa, she leaves behind four daughters. She was a single mother to all of her girls and worked as a waitress in the area for more than a decade.
If you have any information on Espinoza please contact our hotline directly. You can always remain anonymous and you can text information 24/7: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).
HEIGHT: 5 feet 10 inches tall
WEIGHT: not known
SEX: Hispanic male
DATE OF CRIMES: August 11, 2019 and February 17, 2020
CONNECTIONS TO: Mexico
CHARACTERISTICS: Stocky build, has a goatee or mustache
Read more: KXAN, AustinTexas.gov, KVUE, Fox 7 Austin