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ELKO — An Idaho man was arrested on an open murder charge in the death of a Ryndon woman whose decapitated body was found by a hunter Sept. 4 in a shallow grave off Mountain City Highway.

“Today we’d like to announce we did find the suspect in our missing person that turned into a homicide,” said Sheriff Jim Pitts.

Jose J. Segundo-Huizar, 46, of Jerome was arrested Monday evening at the murder site, after showing detectives where the woman’s head was buried. He is being held without bail.

“He did admit to killing the victim and he also voluntarily came back to Elko and showed us where the rest of the body was buried,” said Pitts.

Pitts said the head was buried approximately one mile down the road from the body. The Elko County Sheriff’s Office did not originally report that she had been decapitated because it was thought to compromise the investigation.

Detectives have been working on the case since Carmen Magallanes-Sanchez, 34, was reported missing Aug. 24 by her boyfriend, said Pitts.

They followed up on information that led them to Idaho, with help from the task force and the Idaho State Police. The sheriff said the detectives gained a lead on Segundo-Huizar through Facebook and other evidence, including phone calls the family received.

A search warrant was issued for Segundo-Huizar’s home and executed Monday afternoon. Evidence in one of the vehicles and residence led to the suspect’s questioning.

Even though Magallanes-Sanchez was living with someone else, Segundo-Huizar claims the pair had had an intermittant relationship.

There is not a clear motive. Segundo-Huizar’s statements to authorities reveal a dispute over having sex, said Pitts, explaining the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office said the initial autopsy results showed Magallanes-Sanchez had been dead only a few days before the postmortem.

This aids detectives in creating the approximate 10-day timeline for the investigation.

The sheriff suggested there was an altercation between the pair, where Segundo-Huizar pushed the victim.

The authorities do not have an exact cause of death. It is unclear if the decapitation took place after death as the autopsy is not complete at this time.

The sheriff’s office identified the body of Magallanes-Sanchez through fingerprints on Sept. 15.

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The grave was approximately 30 miles north of Elko just off of Mountain City Highway. The body was exhumed from the site and sent to the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The investigation is ongoing and the Washoe County Crime Unit was at the scene Tuesday, helping to recover parts of the head, which had been dug up by animals and scattered in the barren area.

Segundo-Huizar’s initial hearing was heard by Elko Justice of the Peace Mason Simons, who approved the defendant’s application for counsel and appointed the Elko County Public Defender’s Office for representation.

Elko County Public Defender Kriston Hill told the judge she would be handling the case.

During the proceedings, it was stated Segundo-Huizar is a ranch hand with a wife in Idaho. His two adult sons reside in Mexico.

Chief District Attorney Chad Thompson said the State would most likely file the criminal complaint by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

Simons said it is his intention to see Segundo-Huizar after the complaint is filed to address the charge and set further court proceedings.


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