Details emerge of how father-son duo allegedly killed, hid bodies of Savanah Soto, Matthew Guerra

Christopher Preciado charged with capital murder; Ramon Preciado charged with abuse of a corpse

SAN ANTONIO – A father and son were arrested Wednesday in connection with the deaths of Savanah Soto and her boyfriend, Matthew Guerra, late last month, according to San Antonio police. Authorities said they are the sole suspects in the case.

Christopher Preciado, 19, has been charged with capital murder, abuse of corpse and alter/destroy/conceal human corpse. His father, Ramon Preciado, 53, was charged with abuse of a corpse and alter/destroy/conceal human corpse.

San Antonio police said they collected a cellphone as a critical piece of evidence when they discovered Soto and Guerra’s bodies in a Northwest Side apartment complex parking lot on Dec. 26.

Family members told KSAT that missing pregnant woman Savanah Soto, 18, was found dead in her car in the 5900 block of Danny Kaye along with an adult male, who is believed to be Soto’s boyfriend, Mathew Guerra, 22, on Tuesday. Dec. 26, 2023. (Courtesy, Soto family)

Christopher Preciado, 19, has been charged with capital murder. His father, Ramon Preciado, 53, was charged with abuse of a corpse in the case.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Guerra had gone to Preciado’s home to sell him marijuana on the night of Dec. 21.

Christopher Preciado said that Guerra pointed a gun at him when Preciado “manipulated the weapon,” resulting in Soto being shot, the affidavit said.

Moments later, Guerra once again pointed the gun at Christopher Preciado, who told detectives that he “manipulated the weapon again,” resulting in Guerra being shot, the affidavit said.

The medical examiner had previously reported that Guerra died from a “contact gunshot wound to the head.”

Christopher Preciado is the alleged sole killer in the case, according to police. SAPD said his father helped hide the bodies.

According to the affidavit, Christopher Preciado drove Guerra’s vehicle to the apartment complex down the street on Danny Kaye Drive, where the bodies were discovered five days later.

Ramon Preciado admitted to detectives that he drove the pickup to the apartment complex to meet his son, which was seen on surveillance footage released by police.

Ramon Preciado also identified himself on surveillance video as the person getting out of the pickup and “knowingly treated the human corpse(s).”

San Antonio police said the critical piece of evidence that led them to the suspects was one of the victim’s cell phones in the vehicle when they discovered Soto and Guerra’s bodies

The phone had recently searched the suspect’s address on Google Maps, where investigators spotted the Chevrolet pickup truck seen in a surveillance video police had shared on Dec. 28.

Officers conducted surveillance at a home on Charlie Chan Drive, where they believed the suspect vehicle was located. The home was located about two blocks away from where the bodies were discovered, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The drive is less than a mile away, according to Google maps,

Police knocked on the door and Ramon Preciado answered and said he knew why police were there, according to SAPD.

The father and son were then taken into custody and questioned downtown at police headquarters.

SAPD said a judge signed a warrant for the arrests based on the information provided during questioning.

According to the affidavit, the families of the victims told police that Guerra sold drugs on his cell phone and social media. Guerra posted pictures of money and narcotics on Instagram. The affidavit stated that “people wanted to rob (Guerra)” and that “he had been shot at before.”

SAPD said the department would be working with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office to determine any further charges since Soto was pregnant and about to give birth at the time of her death.

The unborn child was named Fabian, according to the affidavit.

Police say Christopher Preciado has no previous criminal history, and his father had some criminal history.

Ramon Preciado’s bond is set at $600,000, while Christopher Preciado’s bond has been set at $2,000,000.

San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday morning.

“Last night, the San Antonio Police Department arrested 2 people, a father and his teenage son, in connection with the murders of Savanah Soto and Matthew Guerra. GREAT investigative work done by SAPD homicide detectives!!!” he said.

Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales released a statement about the arrests:

“SAPD has recently announced the arrest of Christopher Preciado in connection with the murders of Savannah Soto and Matthew Guerra. I commend SAPD for working diligently and effectively to investigate these murders and make arrests.

The work of the Bexar County District Attorney’s office now begins. Under Texas law, a person can be charged with capital murder when there is more than one victim in a murder and there is evidence to believe the defendant caused the death of the individuals. In this case, defendant Christopher Preciado can be charged with capital murder because Savannah Soto and Matthew Guerra were both killed. Moreover, under Texas law, an unborn child is included in the definition of a person. Therefore, Christopher Preciado can be charged with an additional count of capital murder for the death of baby Fabian.

The District Attorney’s Office will await the filing of the complete case investigation in order to thoroughly review the facts and make the appropriate charging decisions. Additionally, should a Bexar County grand jury find probable cause that Mr. Preciado committed these crimes and choose to indict him, our capital crimes committee will consider whether to seek the death penalty. Since the case has not yet been presented to a grand jury, it is too early to comment on what punishment will be sought. Our office is committed to holding individuals involved these three murders accountable for this heinous crime.”

The news has brought relief to people in the area, many of whom have been following the case.

“It was kind of crazy ‘cause it was right by us and I was thinking, ‘Are we even safe?,” she said. “(An) innocent lady, the baby. Wasn’t even born yet,” said Esmeralda Ramirez, who lives at the apartment complex.

She hopes the arrests brings closure to the victims’ families.

KSAT will bring you the latest developments in this case as they become available.


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About the Authors

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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