California’s Golden Acorn Casino Site Of Missing Couple’s Bodies

Posted on: December 28, 2023, 05:24h. 

Last updated on: December 28, 2023, 10:18h.

Two lifeless bodies were discovered in a parked vehicle at California’s Golden Acorn Casino this week. The estranged husband and wife apparently died in a murder-suicide.

Melissa Soto and Johnny Soto
Melissa Soto and Johnny Soto, at left, with their three children during happy times. The couple recently passed away in an apparent murder-suicide. (Image: Soto family)

Melissa Soto, 45, and Johnny Soto, 52, both of San Ysidro, Calif., were found deceased in a vehicle by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on Tuesday, according to San Diego TV station KNSD.

An initial investigation showed Johnny Soto died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. It’s not immediately clear how Melissa Soto perished. But an autopsy is scheduled by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office to reveal the cause and manner of her passing.

Her death is being investigated as a homicide with her husband as the lone suspect in what appears to be a tragic case of domestic violence,” according to a statement released by San Diego Police Department Lt. Steve Shebloski.

The vehicle was parked in a lot at the casino. It’s not clear how long it had been there.

The gaming property is located in Campo, Calif. near the Mexican border.

Missing for Week

The couple had been missing for about a week. Their children notified local police last week about their disappearance.

On Dec. 20, their son, Vincent, saw his father and mother, and a short time later got a text from his father.

They left with no clothes,” another relative, Christina Sandoval, revealed to KNSD. “They left with nothing. All his clothes that he wears normally, like the sweats there in the bedroom. Her phone was left here. Her wallet was left here. Her keys were left here, and then his phone was turned off about 15 to 20 minutes after he left here.”

They weren’t seen by family members again.

Hoped Parents Would Return

“We all had high hopes that they would at least come back for Christmas,” Alexia Soto, the couple’s daughter, told KNSD.

The children said they couldn’t bear to open this year’s Christmas presents. The gifts remained under the family’s Christmas tree as of a few days ago, according to the New York Post.

The Sotos separated in July after 20 years of marriage. The husband and wife continued to meet each other despite the separation.

Even though they were separated, there were like no issues between them at all,” Alexia Soto said in an interview with San Diego TV station KGTV.

“They were still in contact. They still talked. She would come over [to his house] and talk.”