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Suspect accused of killing 14-year-old also facing sexual assault charges

Update: Adams County District Attorney Don Quick announced this afternoon that Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos, the 24-year-old who called 911 over the weekend, admitting he had killed a 14-year-old girl, is also facing sexual assault charges. As expected, he's facing first-degree murder charges, too, after allegedly stabbing to death the younger sister of his girlfriend in Commerce City.

Padilla-Villalobos was formally charged today, just five days after he binged on beer and cocaine and then went to pick up a fourteen-year-old Broomfield High School, the sister of his long-time girlfriend. That's what he told cops, as we detailed in our previous coverage below. He reportedly said he had "thoughts of killing while he was driving" before he took the girl to an isolated road in Commerce City in his Ford Ranger and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.

The sexual assault charges -- a total of five counts, ranging from class 2 to class 3 felonies -- means that his actions were likely even worse than originally reported through a police affidavit. But since the investigation is ongoing, the DA's office is not providing any more details.

Here's the short statement sent out this afternoon, followed by our previous coverage.

Adams County District Attorney Don Quick announced today the charging decision as a result of the investigation of the murder of a 14 year-old child in Commerce City on December 23, 2012. Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos is charged with murder in the first degree, felony murder, and five counts of sexual assault. The murder charges are class 1 felonies and the sexual assault charges range from class 2 to class 3 felonies.

The next court date is a preliminary hearing and bond hearing scheduled for March 8, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. All aspects of the case are pending investigation and therefore there will be no further comment from the District Attorney at this time.

Update, 4:00 p.m. December 27: Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos, a 24-year-old man who called 911 and confessed to killing a fourteen-year-old girl in Commerce City, told police that he binged on beer and cocaine before he "began having bad thoughts," a police affidavit reveals. And it turns out the victim was his girlfriend's sister, whom he allegedly stabbed to death and left on a deserted road before turning himself in.

The grisly details, available in a police affidavit released yesterday and obtained by the Denver Post, offer new information on the 911 call that we reported on yesterday. Our original coverage is below.

We also now know more about both the suspect and the victim. According to the Post, she is Gabriela Acosta, a fourteen-year-old Broomfield High School student who was looking forward to her quinceanera in June. Officials have not released her name.

Her sister, FlorMaria Acosta, was dating Padilla-Villalobos and apparently sent her boyfriend a text message asking him to pick up her sister from their mother's house in Broomfield on Sunday. The suspect told Commerce City officers that after spending the evening at a friend's house he'd moved on to a bar, drinking twelve to fourteen beers, according to the affidavit.

Then he went and picked up Gabriela Acosta.

He reportedly described "thoughts of killing while he was driving" before taking her to an isolated road in Commerce City in his Ford Ranger. He's accused of trying to strangle her and then stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

He is in jail without bond. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also requested that local authorities hold him -- which means he could ultimately face deportation. The Post says he is from Chihuahua, Mexico.

A spokesman with the Adams County District Attorney's office tells us that the investigation is still pending and officials are expected to file formal charges tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

Continue for our original coverage on the 911 call.  

Original post, 12:59 p.m. December 26: Esequiel Padilla-Villalobos, 24, called 911 over the weekend and told police in Commerce City that he had just killed someone and wanted to turn himself in. He then gave investigators the location of the body of a fourteen-year-old girl. Padilla-Villalobos is now in custody and though officials think they know the identity of the victim, they aren't yet releasing her name.

According to the Commerce City Police Department, shortly before midnight on Sunday, officers responded to the 911 call of Padilla-Villalobo, who "said he had just killed someone, and wanted to turn himself in."

Google image of the area where the victim was found in Commerce City in the 8600 block of Verbena Street.
Google image of the area where the victim was found in Commerce City in the 8600 block of Verbena Street.
Google Maps

He has since been cooperative with investigators, officials note in a news release, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.

The female victim has been tentatively identified, but notification of the family is still pending.

She was found in the 8600 block of Verbena Street.

Officer Chris Dickey tells us today that the identification of the victim will come from the coroner's office, which has yet to complete its autopsy. The case, he says, will be presented to the Adams County District Attorney's office tomorrow. Formal charges are expected this week.

Police also note that based on the preliminary investigation, it appears the suspect may have known the victim.

Padilla-Villalobos, who reportedly has no criminal history in Colorado, is being held at the Adams County Detention Facility on suspicion of first-degree murder. As of this writing, there's no mugshot available.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Colorado Springs vandalism: "I hate black people" and swastikas, just in time for the holidays"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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