The missing husband of a teenage girl found dead in a city college restroom on Tuesday night has been officially charged with the murder of his estranged 19-year-old wife.
Armando Perez had been considered a "person of Interest" since Tuesday, when police found Diana Gonzalez's body in a bathroom at San Diego City College. Late on Friday afternoon, though, the district attorney's office said it had filed a murder charge against the 37-year-old man. There is also a special allegation of lying in wait, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.
Investigators are still looking for Perez, who is believed to be hiding in Mexico. Law enforcement officials found his 1999 blue Ford Mustang in Tijuana after the killing.
Gonzalez's body was found by a student at about 10 p.m. in a men's room. Police have not released the cause of her death but did say the case was a murder investigation.
Perez is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds. Police are urging anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Investigators said at a news conference earlier this week that they considered him to be armed and dangerous.
Investigators said Gonzalez and her husband had a history of domestic violence. They said that at one point, Diana told police that Perez kidnapped her and held her in a motel for two days. She was assaulted during the abduction, police said they were told, and then she was released. Soon afterward, she filed a case with the San Diego police.
“Our domestic violence unit handled the case,” said San Diego police Capt. Jim Collins. “They investigated the case. They arrested the suspect and booked him into the county jail. The district attorney’s office reviewed the case and declined to issue at that time.”
Gonzalez recently filed a temporary restraining order against Perez. In fact, the couple were supposed to be in court on Tuesday, but he had not yet been served with court papers because he had not been located.
Janette Gonzalez, Diana's sister, said the district attorney’s office declined to press charges against Perez after Diana filed her report, citing a lack of evidence.
“Are they going to just wait for all girls to get killed to put them in jail?” Janette wondered aloud.
The men's restroom where Diana was found is tucked away on the second floor of the chemistry building, according to one of the school's professors. A purse was found on the ground outside a women's bathroom in a separate area of campus from where the body was found. The contents of the purse could be seen on the ground with an evidence marker next to it.