Savanah Soto case: New details in deaths of pregnant teen, boyfriend

Posted at 11:58 AM, January 3, 2024

SAN ANTONIO, TX (Court TV) — New details are emerging in the tragic case of a pregnant teenager and her boyfriend, whose bodies were discovered in a car in San Antonio the day after Christmas. The pair had been reported missing on Dec. 23.

Savannah Soto picture distributed by Texas Department of Public Safety

Savanah Soto, the pregnant teen who was last seen on Dec. 23 in Leon Valley, about 10 miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. In the picture, Savannah is resting her hand on a shirt showing her younger brother Ethan Soto, who was murdered in May 2022. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Although police are still searching for persons of interest in the shooting deaths of Savanah Soto, 18, and Matthew Guerra, 22, they do know that Guerra was on probation for assault causing bodily injury to Soto at the time of his death. According to online court records, the misdemeanor offense occurred on Christmas Day 2022. Guerra’s attorney, Christopher Castro, confirmed that detail to Court TV.

READ MORE: New video released in ‘perplexing’ case of pregnant teen, boyfriend found dead

At a June 2023 hearing regarding the assault on Soto, Guerra pleaded no contest. He was sentenced to a year’s probation and was barred from communicating with Soto in a “harmful or injurious” manner. That meant that while he could contact her, there were conditions.

Online court records further indicate that Guerra was arrested again in September on three more unrelated offenses: reckless driving, unlawful possession of a weapon and evading arrest. Guerra was awaiting indictment on the charge of evading arrest at the time of his death.

Soto was a week past her due date when her body was found alongside Guerra’s in his silver Kia Optima. They had both been shot in the head. The case is being investigated as a capital murder. In the days following the discovery of the bodies, San Antonio police released video footage from a nearby location featuring two persons of interest. One person could be seen driving a dark pickup truck, and the other was driving Guerra’s Kia.

In an interview with Court TV’s Julie Grant this morning, Forensic death investigator Joseph Scott Morgan pointed out that details surrounding the cause and manner of death are particularly fascinating because the medical examiner ruled Guerra’s cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the head.

“And not only is it a gunshot wound,” said Morgan, “this is a contact gunshot wound.”

Morgan went on to explain that the gun’s muzzle would have to be in contact with Guerra’s head when the firearm was discharged.

“There had to be some physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim.”