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Troubled man in double murder-suicide ‘flipped out,’ police say

Jesus “Jesse” Saldivar lost his house, his job and his girl.

And on Friday night, in his bank-owned house waiting for his ex-girlfriend to drop off their young daughter, authorities said, he finally snapped.

Las Vegas police said Saldivar, 48, stabbed Veronica Erazo-Alderado, 30, before shooting her in the chest and killing her.

Police said he then stabbed to death the former couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Sabrina.

Saldivar then placed the bodies in his car and drove to an area near Sunset Road and Hualapai Way, about five miles from the house at 7732 Mocorito Ave.

He then killed himself, police said.

The three bodies were found in the car by officers before 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police believe Saldivar and Erazo-Alderado were arguing before the attack. They called the incident a double murder-suicide

“He flipped out,” said homicide Lt. Lew Roberts. “There’s been lots of layoffs in town, lots of depression. Lots of potential for people like this.”

Erazo-Alderado and Saldivar, who had been in a relationship for seven years, had broken up months earlier when she moved out of the house, according to police and neighbors.

It was not a clean break, however. Neighbors reported seeing Erazo-Alderado at the home occasionally.

The only prior contact the Police Department had with Saldivar came July 4. He was named as a suspect in a domestic violence report filed by Erazo-Alderado, which was referred to the district attorney’s office. Saldivar was issued a summons in the case, Roberts said.

The night of her death, Erazo-Alderado was supposed to drop off Sabrina at Saldivar’s home before going to work, police said.

Police said Erazo-Alderado’s new boyfriend became worried when the certified nursing assistant did not show up for her shift at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, San Martin campus.

He asked for a welfare check. Officers responding to Saldivar’s house found blood.

Police doubt they will ever discover what triggered Saldivar’s rampage because everyone involved is dead.

“I don’t have a motive,” Roberts said Monday. “We probably will never have a motive.”

Rod Davis, president and CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, said Monday in a written statement that the tragic deaths of Erazo-Alderado and her daughter were met with great sadness.

“She was a dynamic person who gave to her family and her job unselfishly,” Davis said. “As a CNA, Veronica’s unwavering commitment to her patients was genuine.”

Erazo-Alderado had a 13-year-old son who did not witness the incident. He is not Saldivar’s son, Roberts said. Child welfare officials were handling the custody case, Roberts said.

“It’s very lucky her son didn’t go with his mom,” Roberts said. “He (Saldivar) would have probably killed him, too.”

Although violent crime has been decreasing in Las Vegas for several years, domestic violence is one category that has not fallen at the same rate.

At a Review-Journal editorial board meeting last week, Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the Police Department was paying close attention to domestic violence trends and had developed a proactive approach.

In August 2009, police began a risk assessment program for victims of domestic violence and the most violent offenders. Victims now are directed to SafeNest, an organization against domestic violence that provides counseling.

Patrol officers are required to fill out forms on domestic violence calls, Gillespie said. In especially bad cases, officers are required to follow up with victims and notify detectives with the domestic violence detail.

“We do our best to convince victims they probably shouldn’t go home, and if they stay in this relationship, it’s probably going to get worse,” he said.

In September, a study using 2009 figures ranked Nevada first in domestic homicides against women.

Police said domestic violence homicides were in the mid-30s in 2009 and 2010. As of September, there were 11 domestic homicides — five involving women.

Updated figures were not immediately available Monday.

Lisa Lynn Chapman, a spokeswoman for SafeNest, said she believes the reduced figures are a sign of improvement.

“For about 10 years, we’ve been in the 30s (for domestic homicides),” she said. “At the end of the third quarter, us being at 11, that is a real, credible decrease.”

Chapman said she recommends that anyone in a violent relationship contact SafeNest’s hotline at 646-4981.

SafeNest can provide shelter, counseling and even help victims get temporary protection orders, she said.

Roberts said he did not believe there had been past instances of domestic violence between Saldivar and Erazo-Alderado, but he was not certain.

Neighbors told the Review-Journal they had seen the couple arguing outside several months ago, but it’s unclear if the incident escalated to violence.

Roberts has one message to those in abusive relationships.

“If you’re in a bad relationship, get out,” he said. “And if you’re out of the relationship, but you still have to see this person, make sure you take someone with you.”

Review-Journal writer Antonio Planas contributed to this report. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

 

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