Illegal Migrant Skipped ICE Appointments Just Before Violent Murder

( – An illegal immigrant, released by border officials, failed to show up for his immigration hearing just weeks before allegedly stabbing a man to death, says Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Pablo Jose Gutierrez-Morales, along with two others, was arrested in May for the murder of a California man who had dated a woman Gutierrez-Morales was interested in. Gutierrez-Morales unlawfully entered the U.S. in 2022 and was placed in a program to monitor his whereabouts, but he was later removed from it.

On February 10th, police in Pleasant Hill, California, discovered a 37-year-old man named Santiago Jacobo dead from multiple stab wounds in a local park where he worked as a janitor. His wife, worried when he didn’t come home after his shift, discovered his body and called 911.

After more than three months of investigation, local authorities announced the arrest of three individuals involved in the murder: Vanessa Vera-Aguilar (24 years old), Pablo Jose Gutierrez-Morales (31 years old), and Jazmin Ruiz (25 years old). All three face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in a “love triangle” stabbing death.

Detectives gathered evidence showing the three suspects knew Jacobo from their previous jobs at a local assisted living facility. They coordinated and executed the attack on him after he finished his shift at Pleasant Hill Park. Jacobo had been in a relationship with Vera-Aguilar, while Gutierrez-Morales was pursuing her.

Federal immigration officials identified Gutierrez-Morales as an undocumented immigrant from Nicaragua who had been released before the murder occurred. He missed his scheduled reporting appointment on January 24th, less than a month before the killing.

Gutierrez-Morales is currently held by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office without bail. ICE confirmed they have lodged an immigration detainer for him. They requested local law enforcement to notify them before releasing him and hold him long enough for a deportation officer to arrive.

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