A southern California man, Uriel Leon has been charged with murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend is accused of strangling the woman in front of their toddler son, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Uriel Leon, 24, is suspected of killing the mother of his two children, 22-year-old Melissa Contreras.
KFMB reported that officers and paramedics sent to check out a report of a “person down” inside a vehicle near an Oceanside intersection found the woman’s body around 8:40 p.m. Monday, according to Oceanside police.
Leon is suspected of killing Melissa Contreras on December 26 during an altercation in her car. He is charged with first-degree murder and felony child cruelty.
Deputy District Attorney Ben Barlow said Leon was living at a house with his parents near Luna and West Redondo drives and surveillance cameras at the residence revealed the moments before and after the killing.
Cops say Uriel Leon strangled his ex Melissa Contreras, in front of their toddler son
According to Ben Barlow said surveillance cameras captured Contreras driving up to the house where Leon was reportedly living with his parents around 5:30 p.m. Monday. Leon is seen bringing their 2-year-old son out to the car and then getting into the car. Some sort of altercation occurs in the car, Barlow said.
Investigators believe Leon strangled Contreras while he was in the backseat and she was in the front seat. Leon then is reportedly seen driving the car a short distance and walking back to the home with his son. Initially, it was believed the couple were alone in the car when the murder occurred, but surveillance footage later revealed the child was present.
Contreras and Leon, who is father to two of her three children, had been together off and on for the better part of a decade,however.over the last several months, the relationship had deteriorated.
Investigators were told the two were arguing over accusations of infidelity the night Contreras was killed, although the victim’s friends said the two weren’t together. One of her friends said Contreras was “finally happy without [Leon] and he didn’t like that.”
Uriel Leon pled not guilty to murder and felony child abuse charges in Vista Superior Court on December 29, and is being held on $2 million bail.
If convicted, Leon faces 25 years to life in prison.