POSTED: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 1:04pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 7:29pm
EL PASO – It all began on July 25th, 2009. That is when 54-year-old Gloria Marmolejo, a mother and grandmother, disappeared without a trace.
Her family was frantic to find her. They made missing posters and held out hope she would be found alive.
But that hope soon turned to grief. Six days after she went missing, a jogger found Gloria's body dumped in the Santa Teresa desert. Police would soon learn that she had been strangled to death.
Not long after, Gloria's brother and her two sons, David and Manny, held an emotional news conference. David stood next to his brother and uncle as they begged for the killer to come forward.
"My mom is the most loving person that you would ever meet and probably looked her killer in the eye and forgave them," said Manny Marmolejo during the news conference.
"Just the thought that there is somebody out there who could do this is hard for us to imagine," said Gloria's brother Mark Huerta.
But it would be even harder to imagine who police would soon suspect. In September 2009, David Marmolejo turned himself into police after they charged him with his mother's murder.
When reporters asked if he loved his mother while being escorted out of the police station he said, “Yes with all my heart. Mom, I love you please help me."
More than a year after his arrest, in October of last year, David Marmolejo went to trial for his mother's murder.
The prosecution claimed he killed her because she tried to break up a sexual relationship he was having with his stepsister, Maria Wilson.
The defense said the prosecution had no solid evidence linking him to the crime and instead pointed the finger at Mariah Wilson.
After almost two weeks of testimony and three days of deliberations the jury deadlocked.
A mistrial was declared because of just one holdout juror that wanted to convict him. All others in the jury thought he was not guilty.
In the retrial, however, that wasn't the case.
David Marmolejo was found guilty of his mother's murder Tuesday morning.