Moses Lake Police: Man accused of killing woman, hiding her body arrested in Oregon

Juan Gastelum
CREDIT: Moses Lake Police Department

MOSES LAKE, Wash.– The Moses Lake Police Department said the man who killed a missing woman has been arrested in Oregon.

Detective said Juan Gastelum, 27, faces rape and murder charges in relation to the disappearance of 30-year old Yanira Cedillos.

Cedillos was reported missing on the morning of March 4 when she did not show up for work. Police said Cedillos was out celebrating her birthday with friends that night. Throughout the evening police said Gastelum, who she used to live with, was texting, calling, and Snapchatting her. He was asking what she was doing and who she was with, detectives said.

Right before midnight, an argument started within the group of friends. Police said that’s when Cedillos walked away from the group and called a friend to pick her up. The friend was not able to find Cedillos so she called her back, police said. The friend said she heard a man yelling in the background asking who was on the phone and the call disconnected.

When Cedillos called back, she told her friend she was fine. Police said this is the last time anyone would hear from her.

Detectives said Gastelum had picked Cedillos up that night and taken her back to her apartment. They got there just before midnight, officers said.

Evidence showed that Cedillos was killed only about seven minutes after getting home, the police department said. Then, Gastelum moved her body, police said.

Gastelum was seen on camera at a gas station the next morning getting rid of some evidence, according to investigators. Detectives said they were later able to find what he dropped off.

Investigators contacted Gastelum and said he was cooperative at first. They continued to investigate the case and keep Gastelum out of jail because Cedillos’ body had not yet been found. Detectives hopes he would lead them to her.

On Wednesday, the arrest warrants for Gastelum were issued. He was taken into custody and is at the Umatilla County Jail in Oregon until his extradition to Washington.

The Moses Lake Police Department still hasn’t been able to find Cedillos. Detectives said they’re waiting for results of search warrants and electronic data analysis that may narrow the search area or give us new areas to search. Police said if or when those areas are identified, they may be asking the public for help.

The police department said it did not release details about the case earlier because Gastelum had been giving them key evidence in this case. Police said it was doubtful he would have continued to do so if he had seen something about the investigation in the news.