Pair Charged in Seattle Woman’s Death Arrested in Cambodia After Fleeing Dallas
The FBI said its agents helped Cambodian law enforcement arrest Nina Tamar Marano, 50, and Lisa Jo Dykes, 58
They are among three people charged in the October 2020 death of Marisela Botello-Valadez, who was fatally stabbed while visiting a friend in Dallas.
The women each face a count of capital murder in the 2020 stabbing death of Marisela Botello Valadez, 23
They’re charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence
Marano and Dykes were free on $500,000 bonds when they removed their GPS trackers on Christmas Day within moments of each other, at the same location
Third suspect Charles Anthony Beltran, 32, told investigators, after sex with the victim he fell asleep and woke to find Dykes stabbing her.
He also faces a count of capital murder and has been in custody at the Dallas County jail since April, with bail also set at $500,000
A same sex couple who fled US after making bail on a murder rap have been captured in South east Asia. The two women allegedly cut off their ankle monitors and fled after they were charged in the Texas stabbing death of a Seattle woman.
Nina Tamar Marano, 50, and her wife, Lisa Jo Dykes, 58, were arrested last week by Cambodian police with assistance from the FBI, The Dallas Morning News reported.
They are among three people charged in the October 2020 death of 23-year-old Marisela Botello-Valadez, who was fatally stabbed while visiting a friend in Dallas, Texas.
Marano and Dykes were free on $500,000 bonds when they removed their GPS trackers on Christmas Day within moments of each other and at the same location, according to court documents.
Marisela Botello-Valadez, of Seattle, disappeared in October, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. The 23-year-old was last seen alive early Oct. 5 in Deep Ellum. She was visiting a friend in Dallas and had gone out alone, but the friend became worried when she didn’t return to his home.
She missed her flight back to Seattle, and there was no further activity on her cellphone, social-media accounts or bank account.
The friend told Botello’s family she never returned to his home, and she was reported missing
She had gone out alone the night of Oct. 4, 2020. She was last seen alive early the next morning in Deep Ellum, where security footage showed her leaving a bar with Charles Anthony Beltran.
Beltran admitted to meeting Botello in Deep Ellum before taking her to his Mesquite home, where they had sex before falling asleep, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
He told detectives that when he woke up, he found Dykes on top of Botello, holding a knife and making a stabbing motion with one hand while holding Botello’s neck with the other.
Beltran said he then pushed Dykes, knocking her and Botello to the floor before Marano came into the room and shoved him out of the way, according to the affidavit. Beltran claims he left the room, got dressed and fled, according to the affidavit.
When he returned to the home Beltran said, the bedroom was clean and the women told him everything had been taken care of.
Police declared Beltran a person of interest in the case adding that he and his car hadn’t been seen since that night he was questioned. In the weeks that followed, authorities who initially said they believed Botello was still alive, later said she may have been the victim of foul play.
Botello’s body was found March 24, 2021 in a wooded area near East Belt Line and Post Oak roads in Wilmer.
According to an arrest-warrant affidavit, police determined that cellphone records from the day of Botello’s disappearance placed her with all three suspects at a home that Beltran and Dykes shared in Mesquite.
Police wrote in the affidavit that phone records showed that Dykes and Marano left the home later that day and went to a wooded area near Hutchins that was close to several bodies of water before returning to the home.
When authorities searched the trio’s Mesquite home, they found blood evidence.
Investigators who searched the home said that the carpet had recently been cleaned but that there were red and brown streaks beneath it that appeared to be blood. Samples of those streaks were later determined to match Botello’s DNA, police said.
Beltran’s black Audi A6 was recovered in New York in late December, 2020. Hair found in the car’s trunk was tested for a possible match to Botello’s DNA.
According to police, Beltran, Dykes and Marano left their jobs and their homes following Botello’s disappearance and refused to cooperate with the police investigation.
However, the two women charged in the slaying of the 23-year-old Seattle woman went on the run in late December.
The women who are married each other face a count of capital murder each, in the 2020 stabbing death of Marisela Botello-Valadez and they also have been charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. They had been free on bond since May.
This isn’t the first time authorities have had to track these suspects down either. Dykes and Marano were found in Florida before their initial arrests. Beltran was arrested in Utah.
Their roommate Charles Anthony Beltran, 32, also faces a count of murder and has been in custody at the Dallas County jail since April, with bail set at $500,000.
The women’s ankle monitors lost their signals within minutes of each other on Christmas morning in the 1600 block of South Good Latimer Expressway, just south of downtown Dallas, according to a notice filed by an officer in charge of monitoring them.
The pair didn’t respond to multiple calls, emails and texts from officers after they went missing, the document says.
Dykes’ lawyer, Heath Harris on Saturday said they had not been notified of her arrest when reached and was surprised the fugitives had been in Cambodia.
Harris said their fleeing wasn’t evidence of guilt. Evidence that will come out in court will show the women feared Beltran and people he associated with, Harris said.
“I don’t believe they fled because they felt they were guilty of murder. I believe they fled because they are concerned for their safety and they didn’t want to have to cooperate against the co-defendant,” Harris said.