Andrea Vazquez: Alleged killer facing disturbing charges in teen's kidnapping, murder

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering Andrea Vazquez from Whittier this week faced a judge for the first time Wednesday, pleading not guilty to the crimes related to the 19-year-old's death.

Gabriel Sean Esparza pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday to seven counts, including attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and attempted rape charges.

Vazquez's family was in court Wednesday, saying they had one goal in mind.

"I want justice for my daughter," said mother Anna Vazquez. "She was just starting her life."


Vazquez was last seen shortly after midnight Sunday, Aug. 20, in the parking area of Penn Park, according to the Whittier Police Department. That's when a witness told police a man came up to the car he and Vazquez were sitting in and started shooting. The witness ran, he told police, and when he came back there was blood and Vazquez was gone.

Vazquez's body was found in Moreno Valley in Riverside County late Monday, after Esparza was arrested earlier in the day.

Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez is representing Esparza in this case. He said is client is "scared," and is "just beginning to understand what is going on," adding that "Everyone in this case is in shock, and everyone who knows him can't believe that he has been charged with this crime." 

Rodriguez called Esparza a good kid from a good family. Esparza's father is a captain the Los Angeles County Fire Department 

But sources confirmed to FOX 11 that Esparza's arrest came after an extremely detailed confession, in which Esparza allegedly admitted he didn't know Vazquez or the man she was in the car with when she was abducted, and allegedly attacked them at random. 

The complaint alleged that Esparza assaulted Vazquez with the intent to commit rape, sodomy and oral copulation before getting rid of her body. Investigators also believe a rifle belonging to someone in Esparza's home was used for the kidnapping and murder. That rifle was recovered after Esparza was arrested. 

"I don't think it's fair that this happened and I don't want this to happen to other girls," Anna Vazquez said. "Please. I want justice."

Esparza is being held without bail. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 25.