Father of fugitive pleads not guilty in Vegas slaying case

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who was arrested in January at the U.S.-Mexico border in California pleaded not guilty Friday to helping his son hide the body of a 22-year-old nursing student before her remains were found last September in the desert outside Las Vegas.

Jose Antonio Rangel’s attorney, Thomas Boley, did not immediately respond to messages following Rangel’s brief video court appearance in Las Vegas.

Rangel, 46, remains jailed on $100,000 bail pending another court appearance April 28 on destroying evidence and harboring a felony offender charges.

He is accused of helping his son, Erick Michel Rangel-Ibarra, 25, remove Lesly Palacio’s body from their Las Vegas home following her disappearance Aug. 29.

Family members drew community support in a search before Palacio’s body was found Sept. 9 near Valley of Fire State Park northeast of Las Vegas.

Authorities have not disclosed a cause and manner of Palacio’s death.

Rangel-Ibarra is sought as a fugitive on murder and concealing evidence charges. Authorities have said they believe he is in Mexico.

Prosecutors said surveillance video showed the two men placing Palacio’s body in a pickup before Rangel-Ibarra drove away.

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