LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KXAN) — Two men suspected of murdering a UCLA student from Austin have pleaded not guilty. Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) arrested Alberto Medina and Eric Marquez, both 22-years-old, for allegedly murdering 21-year-old Andrea DelVesco.
Detectives arrested Medina on Saturday in Fresno, while Marquez was arrested near his apartment in Westwood on Sunday evening.
Police say a week ago, on Sept. 21 at around 7:20 a.m., Delvesco’s body was found by firefighters who put out a fire at her apartment on Roebling Street, adjacent to the University of California, Los Angeles campus. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says Medina stabbed Delvesco to death and then set her apartment on fire.
Medina was booked at Van Nuys jail for capital murder and is being held without bail. Marquez was also booked at Van Nuys Jail for murder, but his bail amount has been set at $1 million and he faces one count of murder and two counts of burglary.
According to Prosecutor Victor Avila, authorities believe Medina committed the murder during a burglary and set the fire. They say there is no evidence that Marquez ever entered the apartment, but he is being charged for allegedly aiding and abetting.
Officials say there is surveillance video showing Medina entering Marquez’s Westwood apartment building wearing a Snuggie that belonged to DelVesco, believed to be covering up bloody clothing.
Items stolen from DelVesco’s apartment were found inside Medina’s apartment when he was arrested in Fresno, as well as items stolen from an apartment across the street from the murder scene.
Medina’s parents were in court, and two dozen supporters turned out for Marquez, saying he had never been in trouble before.
DelVesco’s mother, Leslie DelVesco told KXAN over the phone her daughter was a junior at UCLA with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. She said DelVesco was a very intelligent girl and “it’s hard” dealing with her death.
The family spoke on camera last week to the program Crime Watch.
“From the day she was born we knew she was an angel on earth,” said the victim’s mother. Leslie added, “She would just look you right in the eye when you were talking to her and you knew she saw into your soul and understood you.”
But is there more to the story? Court documents show back on June 4th, Delvesco was arrested and charged with 4 counts of drug possession, including methamphetamine and MDMA, better known as ecstasy. She was due back in court just 5 days after her death. Legal matters aside, her family says Andrea was a special person.
“She was a giver and she cared about helping other people more than she cared about helping herself,” said her father Art DelVesco.
Andrea’s sister, Alexis, added, “Her life was cut short but the time she was here she affected so many people in so many positive ways that I’m just beginning to understand.”
DelVesco was also a proud member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She also graduated from St. Andrew’s in Austin.
“Andrea was a bright, beautiful, and talented student at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. She was an accomplished athlete, a community servant here and abroad, and a kind young woman who was loved by her classmates and teachers. We are deeply shocked and saddened by this loss, not only for her family, but for our entire school.” said Dr. Todd Stephenson, current Head of Upper School and former History Department Chair in a statement to KXAN News.