PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Two men have been arrested in connection to the death of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found in north Phoenix earlier this month.
According to court documents, police said one of the men arrested "kept [her] in [a] plastic container because he wanted to remain close to her." Investigators believe that 21-year-old Daniel Blas Torrealba was the boyfriend of Destiny Munoz, who was last seen alive on Sept. 25. According to court documents, 19-year-old Edwin Humberto Chavez-Blas, who police also arrested, is the younger brother of Daniel. Detectives believe Munoz died sometime on Sept. 26, more than a week before her body was found. It was Torrealba's family who called police to report Munoz missing, according to court documents. It was almost two weeks before investigators identified her.
Torrealba told police Munoz had shot herself in the face while they were arguing about their relationship, according to police paperwork. Torrealba told detectives he covered up what happened because he was afraid he would get in trouble. Record checks by investigators revealed Torrealba was on federal probation for a felony conviction charge of trafficking undocumented migrants for profit.
According to police, Torrealba said Munoz had threatened to take her own life several times and she had pointed the gun at her face during a fight. Torrealba claims the gun went off when he reached to take it from her, according to court documents. Police say Torrealba used Munoz's phone to send messages to her family "so they would not worry about her."
“That’s terrible. That’s criminal and that shows intent and he was covering it up," said Nancy Williams, who lives across the street from the house where the suspects were arrested. “Innocent people don’t do those things. It looks suspicious.”
Police believe Chavez-Blas helped Torrealba clean up the home where Munoz died and then move her body. Court documents say investigators found physical evidence of that cleanup. Investigators also say there is surveillance video from a home-improvement store showing Chavez-Blas buying a 70-gallon storage container, as well as cleaning supplies, deodorizer, and "several rolls of duct tape." According to Chavez-Blas's public court documents, he told police that Torrealba told him "alternative versions of a story that Daniel pushed her during a fight and she either hit her head or she was accidentally shot when she fell." The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office is working to determine how and when Munoz died.
Chavez-Blas's probable cause for arrest statement says he, Torrealba "and other conspirators" intended to dismember and bury Munoz. Police say Chavez-Blas bought a chainsaw online, "but the police became involved before that part of the plan could go into effect."
“To hear that, especially about what they were gonna do with the body, I think that’s awful," said Tania Peraza, who lives nearby.
A secured appearance bond of $125,000 was set for Torrealba. Bond for Chavez-Blas was set at $25,000. Both men are facing recommended charges of concealment of a body and tampering with evidence. Torrealba also faces a weapons charge, while Chavez-Blas could be charged with hindering prosecution.