MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Springfield, Minn. man was arrested in connection with the Sleepy Eye car accident that led to the discovery of human remains last month.
Twenty-six year old Miguel Angel Vazquez, of Springfield, Minn., was charged second degree murder for the death of 22-year-old Amber Elena Lechuga.
According to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Brown County officials and the Sleepy Eye Police Department responded to a call about a car crash around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 25, approximately 3.5 miles south of Highway 4, near the Cottonwood River.
Police said Vazquez made the call and told them he had been in an accident with another vehicle.
Upon arrival, police found a car engulfed in flames.
While the Sleepy Eye Fire Department worked to extinguish the fire, other officials searched the area and found Vazquez walking along the highway, partially clothed with burn marks and smelling of gasoline.
Vazquez told police he had just picked up Lechuga from St. James, Minnesota when he was rear-ended.
When he got out of the car to speak with the driver, he told police he was knocked out and when he came to he was in the vehicle with Lechuga and it was on fire.
According to the criminal complaint, Vazquez then got out of the car, shed his clothes and reached back into the car to grab his cell phone with his right arm.
Police noted that there were no clothes found near the vehicle, and Vazquez’s burn marks were on his left side.
After putting out the fire, crews found human remains in the car that were determined to be Lechuga.
Further investigation found that Lechuga had been decapitated and examination of the skull showed a gunshot wound.
Vazquez was taken to the hospital and police began an investigation of his home.
During the investigation, police found a gun matching the caliber of the wound in Lechuga’s head. They also found a sheathed machete and a Winchester brand knife.
The knives had been cleaned, but police did notice a spot of blood on the mattress. Based on the layout of the room, police determined the spot was where someone lying on the bed would put their head.
Police also found video from the Fuel Maxx gas station in Springfield in which a minivan resembling Vasquez’s car can be seen purchasing gasoline. A receipt found the amount to be for $3.
According to the criminal complaint, Vazquez and Lechuga had been involved. The couple had two children together.
Vasquez was scheduled to appear in court Friday, Oct. 3.