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article imageArrest in attempted dismemberment and burning of body

By Karen Graham     May 26, 2015 in Crime
Las Vegas - A man came home from work and, thinking his nephew had been smoking marijuana, went to check the nephew's bedroom. He looked in the bathroom and discovered the nude, dismembered and partially burned body of a woman in the bathtub.
The nephew, Nathanael Martinez, 21, was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after police found the partially burned and dismembered body of the woman in Martinez's bath tub.
The Clark County, Nev., coroner identified the woman as 25-year-old Marissa Shalesa Gonzalez. While the facts are fairly straightforward, what went on is a long and convoluted tale worth telling.
In an interview with police, Martinez said he met Gonzales on the Strip late on Wednesday night, and they took a cab back to his apartment, which he shares with his uncle, Juan Martinez.
By this time, it was early Thursday morning, and the two had consensual sex. Afterwards, Martinez says the woman demanded money, telling him she was a prostitute, and he had to pay. He told Gonzales he had no money, even showing her his empty wallet.
According to Martinez, the woman grabbed a knife on the kitchen counter and threatened him, saying he had to give her something for her time, such as a watch. Gonzales, allegedly still holding the knife, turned and locked the deadbolt on the door to the apartment, and was trying to put the chain on the door.
According to the police interview, Martinez grabbed Gonzales from behind and applied a chokehold until the woman passed out. At 6:15 a.m. Thursday, the uncle returned from work and tried to open the door to the apartment in the 4000 block of Arville Street, but the chain was on.
Jose Martinez said he could see through the crack in the door that his nephew was laying on the floor with a woman. The younger Martinez got up and let his uncle in, and the uncle said the woman had to leave. The uncle went to bed and slept for a few hours, then got up and went to work at his second job.
Martinez later told police that when his uncle went to bed, he tried to awaken the woman, but she wouldn't wake up. So he dragged her body into his bedroom and went to bed himself. He awoke later on Thursday afternoon and realized Gonzales was dead.
Martinez told police he then dragged the body into his bathroom where he tried to dismember her. Not having very much success, he put her in the bathtub and doused the body with lighter fluid from the barbecue, and tried to burn her. But Martinez says he changed his mind "because he felt bad." Instead, he turned the shower on, dousing the flames.
According to the police report, Martinez then went for a walk around the apartment complex. When he returned from his walk, he gathered the woman's clothes and purse and hid them. He covered the body with a rug and a blanket. The hammer he had used to try to dismember Gonzales he threw in the garbage.
When the uncle came home from work late Thursday night, he smelled smoke and thought his nephew had been smoking marijuana, but when he went searching through the nephew's room, he discovered the woman's body and immediately called police.
By early Friday morning, the younger Martinez had been arrested on suspicion of murder. The police report, released on Tuesday, says one of Gonzales' arms was almost severed, and she had "cuts to her lower back and the back of her left leg. She was also burned around the head and neck area."
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