A 39-year-old man accused of killing his fiance at her Woodcrest home and fleeing to Mexico, then returning to the United States where he was apprehended almost three years later, must stand trial for murder, a judge ruled today.
Eduardo Avalos Escoto allegedly killed 42-year-old Brandie Frazier in 2019.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice Tuesday, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Randall Stamen found there was sufficient evidence to bound Escoto over for trial on the murder charge.
The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Nov. 28 and ordered that the defendant remain held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
Escoto was arrested in July 2022 at a gas station in Colorado City, Texas, where U.S. Marshals, assisted by Mitchell County sheriff's deputies, located him. He was extradited to California weeks later.
Escoto and Frazier had been in a dating relationship for roughly a year and were engaged to be married shortly before she was killed, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The circumstances behind what allegedly happened, including a possible motive, were not disclosed. But sheriff's detectives named the defendant as the prime suspect within days of the victim's killing.
Her body was discovered in the master bedroom of her residence in the 17000 block of Palm Road, near California Citrus State Historic Park, on the morning of Aug. 31, 2019.
The Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, whose members include D.A.'s office investigators, believed that Escoto had fled to Mexico after allegedly committing the murder, according to prosecutors.
Mexican law enforcement agencies were asked to assist in finding him. However, in June 2022, authorities discovered the defendant had returned to the U.S. and was possibly in Washington state. Further leads were developed that indicated he was actually in Texas, prosecutors said.
Escoto has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.