Omar Leon | Credit: Courtesy

Omar Leon, the man who murdered his fiancée and mother of their three children, Lilia Munoz, in 2019, was sentenced on Friday, March 11, to serve 25 years to life.

On June 4, 2019, Santa Barbara Police Officers were called to a residence after receiving 9-1-1 calls from a woman who sounded in distress. After arriving at the residence on Soledad Street, officers discovered Leon had murdered Munoz, and had placed her body inside of a closet bathroom. 

Leon had strangled and suffocated Munoz before placing her body in a bathroom closet, and later lied to Munoz’s parents regarding her whereabouts, stating she had left the residence to go out with friends and never returned. 

On January 25, 2022, Leon pleaded guilty to the charge of willful, deliberate, premeditated murder.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley stated, “This outcome would not have been possible without the extraordinary investigation work by the Santa Barbara Police Department and District Attorney Investigators Dan McGrew and Jeff Ellis. Along with the careful and zealous prosecution team led by DDAs Megan Chanda and Hannah Meyer and Victim Advocate Lourdes Negrete. They all focused on justice and services to help the victim’s devastated family left behind.”

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-7233 (SAFE) or 1 (800) 787-3224 or one of Domestic Violence Solutions’ local crisis hotlines at (805) 964-5245 (Santa Barbara), (805) 736-0965 (Lompoc), (805) 925-2160 (Santa Maria), or (805) 686-4390 (Santa Ynez Valley). In an emergency, call 9-1-1.


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