Body of missing Moses Lake woman found

WALLA WALLA CO., Wash. — The body of a missing Moses Lake woman was found in a remote part of Walla Walla County on Thursday.

Moses Lake Police have been searching for Yanira Cedillos’ body since March. She was reported missing when she did not show up for work.

Police determined Cedillos had been out with friends and had been contacted by a man named Juan Gastelum. He was reportedly texting, calling and Snapchatting her throughout the night.

Detectives said he also asked her what she was doing and who she was with.

Right before midnight, an argument started within Cedillos’ friend group, so she decided to leave. A friend called to check up on her and told police she could hear a man yelling in the background.

Cedillos called back and said she was fine, but police said this is the last time anyone would hear from her.

Juan Gastelum

Detectives said Gastelum picked Cedillos up that night and took her back to her apartment. Evidence showed that Cedillos was killed only about seven minutes after getting home. Then, Gastelum moved her body, police said.

Investigators said Gastelum was seen on camera at a gas station the next morning getting rid of evidence.

They continued to investigate, and ultimately, Gastelum was taken into custody in Oregon. Police were unable to find Cedillos’ body until recently.

They were able to find Cedillos’ body with the help of updated cell phone data from the suspect’s cell phone. Detectives said Gastelum’s cell phone was tracked in the Wallula Junction area for several minutes the morning Cedillos was reported missing.

Detectives drove to the area Thursday evening and within minutes found a woman’s body in a sleeping bag, covered with tree limbs and leaves.

An autopsy report confirmed Monday that the body was Cedillos’.

Gastelum now faces rape and murder charges.

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