VISTA, Calif. -- A man who murdered his girlfriend and left her body in a car along a North County freeway was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison Monday.
Edward Andrew Long, 40, was convicted of first-degree murder last month in for killing Elizabeth Perez. The bloody body of Perez, a 38- year-old Fontana woman, was found in her black 2003 Mercury Sable with a broken passenger-side window next to an onramp to northbound Interstate 15 from El Norte Parkway. An autopsy found Perez died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Detectives quickly identified Long as the suspect. He was arrested about two weeks after the killing while driving a borrowed car in Las Vegas.
"We held each other and cried. That was beginning of the worst time of our lives," said Perez's mother, Angela Perez. "The fear that she must have suffered on June 12, 2016, kills me."
As Long faced the victim's family before the sentencing, they told him how the murder affected them.
"It’s hard for us to understand what has happened. She didn’t deserve this," Angela Perez said.
"My sister would have been 40 years old. I’m 26," said Patricia Perez, Angela's sister. "My sister will never see me become a teacher. She’ll never see me get married. She’ll never meet my future children."
"I will never forget her smile and infectious giggle that always made me smile," said Patricia Montoya, Angela's former mother-in-law. "I will never forget her last text to me, which read, 'I divorced your son not you, Happy Mother’s Day.'"
And they told the judge about the pain they continue to feel every day.
"I can’t delete her from my phone even though I know she is gone," her mother said.
"I love her and miss her, and part of me is gone forever," Montoya said. "All I ask from the court is give my sister and my family justice by giving him the maximum sentence."
Upon hearing the family's pleas, the judge gave Long the maximum sentence, and based on prior crimes, added another 25 years.
"I just hope he never gets out. That will give me comfort definitely," said Jasmine Guillen, another sister of the victim.
"This is probably the best outcome. I think he’s never going to be able to come out and hurt anybody," said Anthony Guillen, the victim's brother-in-law.