FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) — Two suspects accused in a murder that spanned multiple Northern California counties appeared in a Fairfield courtroom Tuesday.
Suspects Jessica and Marco Quintanilla did not enter pleas in the death of Leilani Beauchamp, a 19-year-old woman from Carmel. Officials say Jessica Quintanilla is the alleged killer.
Marco Quintanilla, Jessica Quintanilla’s brother, faces charges of accessory to murder and a parole violation.
Beauchamp was reported missing Saturday night after leaving a party in Sacramento earlier in the day with two men police identified as active-duty Air Force members.
Juan Parra-Peralta, 20, an airman out of Travis Air Force Base, was identified as one of the men.
Police said they searched a home along Cascade Lane in Fairfield where the 19-year-old was allegedly killed. A neighbor later told FOX40 that investigators spent hours going through an upstairs bedroom at that home.
Beauchamp’s body was reportedly found Sunday in Salinas in Monterey County.
How she was killed has not been reported.
Parra-Peralta, a renter at the home where Beauchamp was killed, was also arrested on suspicion of accessory to murder. However, he may not end up facing charges in the case.
The Solano County chief deputy district attorney said Parra-Peralta may be considered more of a witness than a suspect.
“We have not made a decision as to whether we’re going to be charging him or not at this time,” explained Solano County Chief Deputy District Attorney Paul Sequeira. “Some people are witnesses. Some people are defendants.”
Sequeira said the other airman Beauchamp left with that night was a potential witness.
Investigators revealed a possible motive in the case Tuesday.
“There is some indication it might’ve been a love triangle. But that’s all I can say,” Sequeira said. “We have 65 pending homicides. The only thing that might be unusual about this case is, we don’t normally see, is we have a woman that’s a shooter. That’s not normal.”
Michele Smith, a longtime family friend of the victim told FOX40 that the motive in the case doesn’t change the fact that the killing was senseless.
“A 19-year-old was murdered, taken from their family, and they will never get to spend another holiday with her ever again,” Smith said. “If someone is murdered in cold blood, they need to be brought to justice. And whatever the reason is, it’s absolutely irrelevant.”
Beauchamp’s family issued a statement Monday night after news of her death was made public.
Leilani was truly a blessing to us and her beloved friends. Leilani shared a very close relationship with her younger brother and sister who, after she ventured out to college, maintained daily communication with them. We will miss her smile, her laugh, her caring demeanor, her strong will, her passion for life and the love she brought to our family. We love you Leilani.Violet, Onyx & Family