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Breaking News Update: Suspect Charged with Attempted Rape and Additional Charges in Vazquez Case

Whittier, CA - September 15, 2023

In a chilling and shocking turn of events, Gabriel Esparza, the suspect apprehended in connection with the disappearance and murder of 19-year-old Andrea Vazquez, now faces charges that reveal the depth of the heinous crime. Newly released information highlights the harrowing details that have emerged from the investigation.

Esparza, initially arrested on charges of murder and kidnapping, has now been officially charged with two counts of attempted rape, kidnapping with intent to rape, and assault for the purpose of engaging in rape. The revelation that Esparza's DNA was collected from sperm at the scene confirms the horrifying nature of the crime.

Authorities have reason to believe that Esparza may have targeted other potential victims in the Whittier area, adding a layer of concern to an already devastated community.

According to the Whittier Daily News, Esparza entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges during his arraignment in Los Angeles after confessing to the kidnapping her with the intent to have forcible and violent sex with her. The gravity of the situation is further underscored by the special charges he now faces: murder during the commission of kidnapping and murder during the commission of attempted rape. If convicted, Esparza could potentially face life without parole.

Police investigations have revealed that Andrea Vazquez was not only kidnapped and murdered but was also subjected to a horrific attempted sexual assault. The evidence suggests that Esparza randomly selected her as a victim. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Esparza allegedly forced Vazquez into the bed of his pickup truck with the intention of sexually assaulting her.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon expressed the shock and outrage that the community feels. He stated, "The heinous nature of this crime, involving the murder, kidnapping, and attempted rape of an innocent young woman, shocks our community to its core."

As the investigation continues and the legal process unfolds, the community remains in mourning for Andrea Vazquez. Her tragic fate has galvanized the city of Whittier in unity, demanding justice for her memory and pushing for increased awareness and vigilance to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Gabriel Esparza is scheduled to return to court by October 30, and the community's resolve to see justice served remains unwavering.

For further inquiries, please contact Officer Tommy Mattsson at tmattsson@cityofwhittier.org or 562-244-0045.



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