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Downey Man Arrested For Allegedly Strangling Tijuana Sex Worker to Death at Hong Kong Gentlemen’s Club in Zona Norte

Bryant Rivera, 30, was arrested around 5:30 A.M. Thursday on one count of femicide at Hotel Cascadas filed against him in the state of Baja California, authorities said. A detention hearing is scheduled Monday in Los Angeles, at which federal prosecutors will ask a judge to keep Rivera behind bars during extradition proceedings.

11:46 AM PDT on July 7, 2023

    ÁNGELA CAROLINA ACOSTA FLORES (L), WHO US AUTHORITIES SAY WAS KILLED BY BRYANT RIVERA (R). CREDIT: ACOSTA FLORES’S FAMILY (L) AND THE US CRIMINAL COMPLAINT (R).

    A Downey man is behind bars and awaiting extradition to Mexico to face charges of murdering at least one sex worker in Tijuana, according to documents obtained Friday by City News Service.

    Bryant Rivera, 30, was arrested around 5:30 A.M. Thursday on one count of femicide filed against him in the state of Baja California, authorities said. Femicide is used to describe an eruption of violence against women in Mexico, especially in Tijuana.

    Mexico may add additional charges when it submits a formal request for extradition, according to the criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court.

    Bryant is accused of strangling a sex worker to death on Jan. 24, 2022, in a room at Hotel Cascadas, next to the Hong Kong Gentlemen's Club in Zona Norte, a red light district in Tijuana, the complaint says.

    The following afternoon, Mexican authorities received a report about the discovery of the body, identified as Ángela Carolina Acosta Flores, the document states.

    According to the victim's mother, Flores had been working as a stripper and occasional sex worker at the Hong Kong bar for about five months, the complaint says.

    On the night of the murder, the victim texted her mother that she was going with a client to a room at Hotel Cascadas for 30 minutes. Security cameras caught a man and Flores together before entering the room, according to the complaint.

    When the mother began to worry after not hearing from her daughter, Flores' boyfriend went to the bar to look for her. He could not find her, but one of the workers there said that she had seen Flores "with a male client with a light brown complexion, an acne-scarred face," who stood about 5-foot-5 and had brown hair, according to the document.

    The woman added that she knew the victim's client as "Bryant Rivera" and that he was a gringo,' the complaint states.

    Flores' mother and boyfriend went to the reception area of the hotel seeking information and remained there until learning that a woman had been found dead in room 404, the document says.

    During an investigation, a sex worker at the bar alleged that she had met with a man matching the suspect's description and name on the afternoon of the murder and went to the hotel room with him. She said that at about 10 P.M. that night, she saw the man she knew as Rivera leave the bar with Flores, according to the complaint.

    On Jan. 25, 2022, just after 12:02 A.M., Rivera returned to the United States on foot at the San Ysidro port of entry, the document states, citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection records.

    Baja California Attorney General Ricardo Carpio said in press interviews in November that at least three victims have been linked to a killer who apparently finds victims in strip clubs and bars in Zona Norte.

    The complaint and provisional arrest warrant for Rivera were placed under seal on June 29 by a federal magistrate judge in downtown Los Angeles due to the possibility that the suspect "is likely to flee if he learns of the existence of a warrant for his arrest," according to prosecutors.

    A detention hearing is scheduled for Monday in Los Angeles, at which federal prosecutors will ask a judge to keep Rivera behind bars during extradition proceedings.

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