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‘Toxic’ relationship ends with ‘excited’ killer bragging that part of woman’s face was ‘blown off’ by gunshot: Witness

Christopher Paul Maya, Michelle Morales-Nakaza

Christopher Paul Maya, Michelle Morales-Nakaza (El Paso Police Department)

The suspect charged in the disappearance and death of a 32-year-old Texas mother of three was allegedly “excited” about shooting the victim in the face when telling a witness what took place. That same “Witness 1” told investigators that the dating suspect and victim had been in a “toxic” relationship for years.

The details about the apparent connection between Christopher Paul Maya, 34, and Michelle Morales-Nakaza, 32, stem from an affidavit obtained by Law&Crime. On April 10, cops said, the victim’s body was “located in the area of Red Sands in El Paso County.” In an update, police said that Maya was tracked down and arrested by U.S. Marshals in a parking lot Wednesday outside the Walmart Supercenter (the Woodrow Bean location in El Paso, Texas).

According to the El Paso Police Department, Morales-Nakaza, a local resident, was reported missing by her mother on March 31 after family stopped hearing from her. An affidavit signed by El Paso Police detective Charles Carrillo said the investigator “believes that the DEFENDANT murdered the Decedent and used the white Toyota Camry to transport the body of the Decedent to Red Sands, where her body was dumped.”

The detective said that Morales-Nakaza’s family began to believe that “something terrible” had happened to their loved one, who had not been heard from over a period of days and stopped updating her social media. The mother of three was reportedly last seen at a Baskin Robbins.

One major development in the investigation came on April 8, when a woman reported information that a male friend (Witness 1) told her about Maya and the murder case.

“Detectives met with Witness 1 who stated he is a friend of the DEFENDANT. Witness 1 stated he knew that the Decedent and the DEFENDANT were in a ‘toxic’ dating relationship for years, and that the DEFENDANT on multiple occasions told him he was going to ‘kill her,'” the affidavit said. “Witness 1 stated he had recently seen them together.”

According to Witness 1, Maya —  just a few nights before Morales-Nakaza vanished — had asked for help removing surveillance cameras rolling outside a residence.

“Witness 1 stated he thought that was suspicious and did not help him,” documents said. “A few days after that, Witness 1 saw a Missing Person flyer on social media depicting the Decedent.”

Witness 1 allegedly told cops that he only became more suspicious at that point and had a conversation with Maya.

“DEFENDANT later confessed to him that he killed the Decedent,” the affidavit alleged.

The story Maya allegedly provided was one of waking up in a white Toyota Camry and shooting the victim in the face one and chest twice after assuming she took his wallet, which he claimed was missing. Witness 1 described Maya as “excited about shooting [Morales-Nakaza] and got more excited when he told Witness 1 that part of her face was blown off from the shot,” documents said.

Maya then allegedly confessed what he did next.

“The DEFENDANT then told Witness 1 that he got rid of her body, the car, his gun, and his personal cell phone in an unknown desert location,” the affidavit said. “Witness 1 stated he felt he needed to tell someone about the DEFENDANT’s confession to him, so he told his friend who called the police.”

From here, police checked out Witness 1’s statement by comparing it to a information provided by male “Witness 2,” who said Maya himself was the source of the details.

“Witness 2’s account of the incident corroborated with the statement provided by Witness 1, that the DEFENDANT shot the Decedent multiple times and dumped her body in Red Sands,” the affidavit continued. “Witness 2 was told this information directly from the DEFENDANT, and provided a possible location of the body of the Decedent. Witness 2 stated that she was dumped in Red Sands wrapped in a blue tarp by the DEFENDANT. Witness 2 stated that before the DEFENDANT confessed to the murder of the Decedent, he saw the DEFENDANT with a white Toyota Camry that had blood on multiple areas of the vehicle and there was weeds and dirt in the vehicle. Witness 2 stated he asked the DEFENDANT if he had killed someone and the DEFENDANT said yes.”

On April 10, cops said they found a desert-area scene consistent with the details provided by that witness.

“Investigators fully identified the two witnesses and deemed them credible, because their stories were consistent with each other, and investigators have no information suggesting Witness 1 and Witness 2 know each other,” the affidavit said. “Investigators also deemed them credible because the information they provided matched the physical evidence located by the investigators.”

One day before her daughter was found dead, Michelle Morales-Nakaza’s mom posted on Facebook: “Please anyone help me bring my daughter home, she has 3 beautiful children and a family that loves her very much.”

Days earlier, she called the situation “any parent’s worst nightmare.”

Maya remains behind bars at the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $1 million bond.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.