A year ago on November 3rd, Jessica Lopez, a New York woman, disappeared after being spotted at a motel in the early morning. After an initial investigation, her car was found abandoned in a nearby parking lot. A trail of electronic evidence assisted prosecutors in finally charging a man with her presumed death.
Upon her disappearance, authorities conducted tons of searches to locate Lopez. Cadaver dogs had been deployed, and police followed up on more than 440 leads in the case. The search even stretched to a landfill in Northern Pennsylvania, where a majority of the trash near Lopez’s residence ends up. Even though a body has yet to be recovered, police are moving forward with charges against Lopez’s ex-boyfriend, Matthew Mercado.
Mercado has been a suspect since the initial investigation phase. Shortly after Lopez disappeared, Mercado was charged with breaking into a different room at the same motel where Lopez was last seen. Prosecutors believe that Mercado killed Lopez when she tried to leave the motel in the early morning of November 3rd, 2019. A trail of electronic evidence shows Mercado withdrawing $15,000 from Lopez’s bank account and then deleting text messages the two had exchanged.
Mercado is currently being held on $3 million bond after he pled not guilty to murder and grand larceny.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology