41-year-old Carlos Figueroa was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on Tuesday for killing his little daughter’s mother and burning her body near the Seven Magic Mountains art installation four years ago.
Natelie Carbajal, 29, had just given birth to her daughter when she was fatally shot. According to court filings, her charred body was discovered on July 4, 2019, about a mile east of the art installation, in a pile of shredded paperwork and metal.
The Metropolitan Police Department received an anonymous tip after her body was discovered that Carbajal’s boyfriend, Carlos Figueroa, had shot her in the head before “dumping her in the desert,” according to Figueroa’s arrest record.
Carbajal died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.
One of Natelie Carbajal’s sisters, Cassandra Carbajal Kumar, told the judge that the last time she saw her sister, she revealed that she was being abused in her relationship. According to court records, she was never seen again when she returned home with Carlos Figueroa that night.
Natelie Carbajal’s sister stated that she had dreams in which her sister receives assistance before being slain.
“I woke up scared, with a pit of grief so deep in my heart, I didn’t think it could ever be filled,” Cassandra Carbajal Kumar said at the sentencing hearing.
On July 10, 2019, police arrested Carlos Figueroa for violating his federal probation. According to court documents, he pleaded guilty in June to a first-degree crime of murder with a deadly weapon.
District Judge Jacqueline Bluth sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years on Tuesday. Carlos Figueroa did not speak during the hearing and did not respond when the punishment was read aloud by the court.
According to court filings, police searched Carlos Figueroa’s residence in July 2019 and discovered a stack of drawers from a missing dresser that matched the metal components discovered with Carbajal’s body. Carlos Figueroa initially denied any involvement in Carbajal’s death, although he did admit to arguing with her over their child hours before her body was discovered.
Police also spoke with Figueroa’s brother, who stated that Carlos Figueroa discussed killing Carbajal over the phone while imprisoned.
Carlos Figueroa was previously charged with murder after being detained in 2015 in connection with the fatal shooting of 42-year-old Jose Martinez, according to court records. According to court documents, he pled guilty to a lesser felony of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to between one and four years in prison in July 2015.
On Tuesday, nearly a dozen of Carbajal’s family members were in the courtroom, wearing shirts with her photo and the words “#Justice4Natelie.” Her family remembered her as a vivacious and caring lady with an “infectious laugh.”
Cassandra Carbajal Kumar told the judge on Tuesday that she will miss dancing with her sister, going on road trips with her, and watching her connect with her niece and nephew.
Following the court, Carbajal Kumar stated that she wanted other victims of domestic violence to understand that abuse may “escalate at any moment.”
“We just want to make sure people reach out to their friends and look out for them,” she explained.