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Woman in Las Vegas seeking cosmetic surgery dies, pair charged

By the CNN Wire Staff
Ruben Dario Mattallana-Galvas, 55, has been charged with one count of murder.
Ruben Dario Mattallana-Galvas, 55, has been charged with one count of murder.
  • NEW: The victim's daughter says her mother was injected by one suspect
  • NEW: A suspect says the woman left off after getting a buttocks injection
  • Two Colombian nationals have been charged with murder in Las Vegas
  • They were caught as they were about to board a plane for South America

(CNN) -- Las Vegas police caught two people as they were about to board a plane for Colombia, then charged them with the murder of a woman who went missing hours after being dropped off for a cosmetic surgery procedure.

The female victim was dropped off Saturday morning to undergo a cosmetic procedure, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Police Department.

The victim's daughter contacted police after she was unable to find her mother at the same location where she had dropped her off about eight hours earlier. A police report, obtained and posted online by CNN affiliate KLAS, quoted the daughter as saying the office did not even have the same furniture in the office as was there earlier in the day.

The report claims that, before she left originally, the daughter saw the victim, identified as 42-year-old Elena Caro, disrobe and be injected in the buttocks by a man later identified by the daughter as one of the suspects, Ruben Dario Mattallana-Galvas. The daughter told police she got a call about an hour later from her mother, and was told to return several hours later.

In that span, authorities learned that the woman had been picked up in an ambulance about three miles north from the original location and taken to a local hospital. There, she was pronounced dead, according to the police statement.

Las Vegas police detectives soon identified two suspects as Mattallana-Galvas, 55, and Carmen Olfidia Torres-Sanchez, 47. Both are from Medellin, Colombia.

The pair were arrested Saturday night at McCarran International Airport, while preparing to board a flight for Colombia. The pair actually had tickets for April 22, but were hoping to leave the United States earlier, according to the police report.

Instead, they were taken to the Clark County Detention Center and each charged with one count of murder, police said.

Mattallana-Galvas and Torres-Sanchez are due to be formally arraigned in court Tuesday on the charges, according to Las Vegas police.

After being informed he was being arrested for murder and being read his Miranda rights, Mattallana-Galvas told detectives that Caro had come into his office that day for a buttocks enhancement procedure, the police report stated. He claimed that, afterward, Caro had walked away from his office.

Mattallana-Galvas admitted to authorities that he was not licensed to pr active medicine in Nevada, but claimed he was a homeopathic doctor in Colombia.

Also Saturday, Las Vegas detectives interviewed an assistant to Mattallana-Galvas, who claimed that Mattallana-Galvas told her to cancel his appointments for that afternoon because "something had gone wrong," the police report said. The assistant said that her husband eventually took Mattallana-Galvas to the airport.

The toxicology report examining the exact cause and timing of Caro's death is still pending, John Fudenberg, the assistant coroner for Clark County, said Monday evening.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.