HOUSTON A suspect who was already jailed for stabbing a woman in southeast Houston in March has now been charged in the death of a woman whose burned body was discovered in a northeast Houston field a month earlier.
Dereck Dante Esparza, 44, was charged with capital murder in the death of Angelica Garibay, a former Navy veteran and mother of three.
Garibay s body was found burning in a field behind a laundromat in the 1300 block of Lorraine on February 22. Firefighters initially thought they were called out to extinguish a grass fire near the washateria, but found Garibay s charred remains under a piece of plywood.
Family members helped identify Garibay, a woman whose life police said spiraled downhill after leaving the military.
At some point after returning home, Garibay was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and lost custody of her children. She turned to drugs and began to wander the streets, despite having a place to stay, according to police.
An encounter with Esparza ended her troubled life. Evidence developed at the scene led them to the suspect, who confessed to killing Garibay during an interview. Police said Esparza choked her before her body was set afire.
She was not his only victim. Police said Esparza is a violent criminal with a lengthy history.
One month after killing Garibay, he stabbed a woman while trying to rape her on March 21, police said. That victim survived. Esparza was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
In January 1999, Esparza was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and just a year earlier in March of 1998, Esparza was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
He is now being held with no bond in the Garibay murder.