Man turns himself in to local police after Dec. 23 killing of teenager

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COMMERCE CITY — A 24-year-old man turned himself into police shortly before Dec. 23, following the stabbing death of a 14-year-old girl in the 8600 block of Verbena Street.
    According to a statement by Commerce City police, officers received a 911 call from Esequiel Padilla-Villalobos, “who said he had just killed someone, and wanted to turn himself in.” Police say Padilla-Villalobos was cooperative and gave the location of the girl’s body near a stable where Padilla-Villalobos was working earlier in the day.
    The victim was 14-year-old Gabriela “Gaby” Acosta, the sister of Padilla-Villalobos’ fiancé, FlorMaria Acosta.
    According to a police affidavit released last week, Padilla-Villalobos told officers he was drinking beer and using cocaine prior to the incident. By his own estimate, Padilla-Villalobos had drank 12 to 14 beers at a friend’s house and a bar before receiving a text message from FlorMaria asking him to pick up Gabriela from her mother’s house in Broomfield.
    According to the affidavit, Padilla-Villalobos picked her up in his red Ford Ranger and drove her to Verbena Street, where we strangled and stabbed her after having “thoughts of killing her” while driving.
    He was later found covered in blood at a gas station, where he had called to turn himself in.
    Padilla-Villalobos is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder at the Adams County Detention Facility. Formal charges were expected to be filed Friday after press time by the Adams County District Attorney. Padilla-Villalobos was ordered to remain in jail with no bond following his initial court appearance Dec. 26. Judge Thomas Ensor handled the case.
    Padilla-Villalobos, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico, has been placed on an immigration hold, according to the Adams County Detention Facility website.
    An autopsy was set for Dec. 26.