Crime

Durham teen strangled girlfriend because she was cheating on him, warrant alleges

An 18-year-old charged with killing another teen told an associate he strangled her because she was cheating on him, according to recently released court documents.

Bryan Jose Guzman, 18, was charged in August with murder in the death of Marlene Yamileth Portillo-Posada, 19, of Durham.

On Aug. 26, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office contacted Durham police about a body of a woman they found near Jordan Lake. She appeared to have been strangled and was found in the woods on the 6400 block of N.C. 751.

Later that day a source told police they had information on a homicide of a woman that had not been reported, according to a search warrant that sought access to Portillo-Posada’s phone, the stolen car Guzman was driving, his phone and his apartment on Chapel Hill Road.

Guzman contacted the source Aug. 24 and asked for help at his apartment, the source told police, according to a warrant.

At the apartment, Guzman told the source that he had strangled his girlfriend Portillo-Posada “because she was cheating on him,” the warrant states.

The source didn’t believe Guzman, so he showed the source her body in a second-floor bedroom of Guzman’s apartment.

The source also showed investigators screen shots of Facebook conversations in which Guzman stated he killed the teen because she was cheating on him, the warrant states.

Guzman asked the source to help carry the body to the car, but the source refused. Guzman carried the body alone and left.

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Bryan Guzman, who was arrested in Louisiana, was charged with murder Durham Police Department

Arrested in Louisiana

Police arrested Guzman in Louisiana after someone reported to police that Guzman was using messaging app Snapchat in that state.

An officer was able to determine where Guzman was and contacted the St. Landry Parrish Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies arrested Guzman and seized the yellow Nissan Sentra he was driving but had been reported stolen.

Guzman has pending charges for robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to court documents. Police said he robbed two people within 20 minutes in December 2018, The News & Observer previously reported.

The newly released warrants provide another example of the dangers women face in relationships.

In Orange County a man was charged this month with killing a woman who had a domestic violence protective order against him, according to court documents.

In Durham a man was charged with killing his 10-month-old daughter and her mother in January. Police Chief C.J. Davis called the incident “a disturbing domestic murder/attempted suicide.”

Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.
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