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Genaro Silva Sees Girlfriend With a Guy, Beats Him to Death With Hammer, Sets Him on Fire

Saying that Genaro Silva was upset after finding out that his girlfriend had another guy in her Mesa apartment is an understatement.

According to police, Silva's girlfriend was still trying to clean up the man's blood from her apartment two days after Silva beat the man to death with a hammer, then took him out to a reservation and lit him on fire.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, someone called Mesa police anonymously Thursday morning, reporting a murder at an apartment complex near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road.

The caller said the woman who lived at the apartment, Vanessa Mendoza, had spent the past two days cleaning the apartment, which was "covered in blood."

Police started investigating Mendoza, and neighbors reported seeing her with "two hardcore and scary Hispanic males who were covered in tattoos" in recent days, according to court documents.

When police couldn't find Mendoza, they got a key and did a welfare check of her second-floor apartment, which was still bloody.

"The bloody condition was confirmed and evidence of cleaning was apparent," an officer writes in a probable-cause statement.

Police identified Silva as Mendoza's boyfriend and tracked down the two at a home in Chandler.

Silva told police that he went home to his girlfriend's place and heard her making "distressful sounds," according to the documents.

Silva grabbed a hammer, and saw a man, Daniel Barraza Gomez, "standing over" his girlfriend, as she sat on the bed.

This apparently was enough to warrant beating the man to death with that hammer.

Silva later got a buddy, Christopher Alejo, to help put Gomez's body in bedding, and carry it to the trunk of Silva's car.

The two men then headed out to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, doused Gomez's body with gasoline, and set fire to it.

Police were able to track down where the men had lit Gomez's body on fire.

Silva -- who was released from prison a little more than a year ago for burglary, transportation theft, running from police, misconduct involving weapons, and a marijuana violation after serving eight years -- now faces several felony charges that include second-degree murder.

Mendoza, Alejo, and Sylvia Olives -- Mendoza's mom -- each face charges including concealment of a dead body.

Silva's bond has been set at $150,000.


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