Army vet accused of murdering male escort in GJ
A former Fruita resident and twice deployed U.S. Army veteran is accused in the slaying of a male escort he met for sex via Craigslist, according to a Mesa County grand jury indictment returned this week.
Billy Joe Delacey, 36, was arrested without incident Friday morning at his home in Lansdale, Pa., one day after Mesa County Chief District Judge David Bottger signed off on a grand jury indictment alleging first-degree murder, second-degree murder, possession of sexually exploitative material and misdemeanor theft. Delacey was being held Friday without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Facility in Pennsylvania.
Delacey, at the time a resident of 1074 Cedar Way, unit 102, in Fruita, is accused in the slaying of 26-year-old Luis Alberto Vasquez Oliva, or “Beto,” an undocumented Mexican national who was beaten to death inside his apartment at 540 29 Road, unit 6. Mesa County Sheriff’s Department investigators were called around 6:20 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2011, by Oliva’s roommate, Morayma Alejandra, who found Oliva laying on a deflated air mattress with a large amount of blood pooled around his head, according to the indictment. Investigators noted no signs of a struggle in the apartment.
An autopsy showed Oliva died sometime between 6 a.m. on July 31, 2011, and 2 a.m. on Aug. 1. He suffered blunt-force trauma, with a single blow to the back of the head and multiple injuries to his face and head, the indictment said.
Brandon Wathan, Oliva’s partner who also lived in the apartment, told investigators Oliva had recently started advertising male-on-male massages and sex on Craigslist.
At the crime scene, investigators found two $50 bills in a hall closet, along with Oliva’s laptop computer. Oliva’s cellphone was found, but its battery had been removed. The last correspondence on the laptop involving the massage ad was from a person using an e-mail address of “firstname.lastname@example.org.” The message indicated the sender wanted to meet Oliva on July 30 and again the next day.
“No others were found to have planned to meet on July 31 and from what is known, this individual was the last person to meet with Beto prior to his death,” the indictment said.
“Billy” wrote in an e-mail plans to meet Oliva around 4 p.m. on July 30 and 10 a.m. on July 31. The e-mail suggests a failed attempt at sex on July 30, while “Billy” wrote, “I promise I won’t be nervous again,” the indictment said.
Delacey was identified by investigators using a photo that “Billy” had sent of himself to Oliva.
Formally interviewed, Delacey admitted meeting Oliva at his apartment July 31 for a massage, but said he changed his mind about having sex and left around 10:15 a.m.
Read the full story in Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.