By the time Alexis Vila debuted in Bellator with a stunning KO win over Joe Warren, he had already allegedly had a hand in the murder and kidnapping of Camilo Salazar. Salazar was believed to be having an affair with the wife of a man named Manuel Marin, a close friend and father figure to the fighter.
Salazar’s burning remains were discovered by the side of the road on June 1st, 2011 – a little less than 3 months before Bellator 51. By way of an affidavit on the investigation, provided by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office, MMA Fighting supplied the horrifying details:
“Salazar’s body was found burning on the side of a road in Miami-Dade County the night of June 1, per the affidavit. His hands were bound and his body was partially burnt. An autopsy concluded that Salazar sustained multiple blunt force injuries to the head, a slit throat and burns to his pelvic area.”
The actual abduction and killing of Salazar was reportedly carried out by two men, Ariel Gandulla and Roberto Isaac. Isaac, said to be a member of the Latin Kings, who Vila met shortly after leaving prison in 2007, was arrested several days before Vila was taken into custody.
Per the affidavit, both Gandulla and Isaac said that they did not know Martin – on whose behalf they supposedly killed Salazar – and police believe that their friendships with Vila was the connection between the three men. The now 41-year-old Gandulla compiled a 8-9 (1 NC) pro MMA career while working and training alongside Vila – with a pair of bouts in the WEC marking the high point of his time as a competitive fighter. It is unknown at this time if he has been arrested.
Martin apparently fled the country soon after Salazar’s body was discovered and has not returned since. Vila is being held with a pending immigration hold at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, both he and Gandulla are set to be charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping, along with conspiracy to commit both crimes. Vila is set to appear in court on May 10th for his arraignment.
For more information, check out MMA Fighting’s report.