A Las Vegas man who stabbed his 3-year-old daughter in the chest, shot her mother and then killed himself, leaving all three bodies in an abandoned vehicle on a desert road, had recently lost his job and his home, police said Monday.
Lt. Lewis Roberts said investigators may never know why Jesse Saldivar, 48, became violent, but he had been struggling financially for some time, and he and his daughter's mother had fought at least once before.
Veronica Erazo-Alderado, 30, and Saldivar were a couple for seven years before they separated earlier this year. She planned to drop off their daughter, Sabrina, at his home Friday before starting her regular shift at a local hospital.
When she didn't show up for work, her coworkers called her current boyfriend, who suspected the worst. He called police.
No one answered Saldivar's door Friday night, but police saw an excessive amount of blood through a window while searching the yard. They found the bodies at 2:19 a.m. Saturday using Erazo-Alderado's cellphone.
"We believe there was obviously some sort of dispute or argument in the house," Roberts said of the Friday killings.
Investigators concluded Saldivar stabbed his daughter, shot her mother in the chest and then carried the bodies into his vehicle. He then likely killed himself after parking the vehicle on the remote street more than three miles from his home.
"There's nothing there but the desert," Roberts said.
Las Vegas police spokesman Jacinto Rivera said Saldivar did not have a criminal record in Las Vegas. But police did respond to at least one domestic dispute incident between the couple July 4, when they were still living together at Saldivar's home.
The couple separated shortly after and Erazo-Alderado entered into a different relationship.
Erazo-Alderado is survived by her 13-year-old son, who was taken into state custody. Saldivar was not the boy's father, Roberts said.
Friend Srrgut Tessmen told KTNV-TV that the boy was worried about his mother last week.
"He said, `Have you seen my mom? We called everywhere, she didn't answer her phone,'" Tessmen said.
Erazo-Alderado had worked as a certified nursing assistant for more than a year at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Las Vegas.
"She was a dynamic person who gave to her family and her job unselfishly," said Rod David, vice president of Nevada operations. "As a CNA, Veronica's unwavering commitment to her patients was genuine."
Police did not know what field Saldivar had worked in before he was terminated. His house was in foreclosure, but he had remained in the property.