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Man pleads not guilty in 22-year-old Las Vegas woman’s death

Updated March 5, 2021 - 9:29 am

The father of a man wanted in connection with the slaying of a 22-year-old Las Vegas woman pleaded not guilty Friday.

Jose Rangel, 46, has admitted to helping his son, Erick Rangel-Ibarra, 25, drag Lesly Palacio’s body out of their Las Vegas home and flee to Mexico, according to court records.

The younger man is still on the lam, while Jose Rangel faced District Judge Tierra Jones during a video conference hearing from the Clark County Detention Center, where he was being held on $100,000 bail.

Through an interpreter and his attorney, Rangel invoked his right to a trial within 60 days, and the judge ordered him back to court next month.

Prosecutors have said that surveillance video showed the two men placing Palacio’s body into a pickup truck on Aug. 29, before Rangel-Ibarra drove off.

Palacio’s body was found in Moapa Valley near Valley of Fire State Park in September, according to court records.

Palacio was last seen by family when she went to get drinks with Rangel-Ibarra on the day she was killed.

After the slaying, the prosecutor said, the two men fled to Mexico. Jose Rangel later returned and surrendered to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at a border crossing in San Diego on Jan. 19, telling authorities that he had been with his son but they had split up.

Within two weeks of Palacio’s disappearance, police identified Rangel-Ibarra as a suspect in her killing, though her cause and manner of death had not been determined.

Rangel-Ibarra faces a murder charge, while he and his father each face a charge of destroying or concealing evidence.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts may contact Las Vegas police at 702-828-3521 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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