30 year-old Emanuel Gomez appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday afternoon charged with deliberate homicide in the death of 26 year-old Charlie Ann Wyrick. Bail was set at $1 million by Judge Karen Orzech.

Emotions ran high as Gomez, handcuffed and bracketed by two Missoula police officers, was led into the court room to hear the charges against him. Members of the slain woman's family were present, holding each other and weeping as Gomez answered questions put to him by Judge Orzech.

photo by Peter Christian
Emanuel Gomez

Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst explained to Judge Orzech why she asked for the almost unprecedented bail amount of $1 million.

"All three of the reasons why a court would set bail are present in this case," Pabst said. "First of all, he's a flight risk, and he has no ties at all to the Missoula community. Secondly, there's grave risk of destruction of evidence. Already, the investigation has revealed that he has tampered with and destroyed evidence. Finally, and most importantly, he is an extreme community safety risk. The facts set forth in the affidavit before the court indicate the depravity with which this crime was committed, but this was also the culmination of a series of events in crimes against this individual. It is the State's belief that if he were released for any reason, he would constitute a danger to any woman he became involved with."

At one point, when Orzech began to explain restrictions to Gomez should he ever be released on bond, one of the family members was heard to say, 'never..he should never be released.'

According to court records filed by Pabst, the original welfare check on Wyrick was called in to police on Thursday, Dec. 24. Police spoke with co-workers of Wyrick, who said she repeatedly came into work bruised or with other injuries, allegedly by her boyfriend, Gomez. At one point, Pabst said, Wyrick was sent to Community Medical Center where she was treated for bruised ribs and bruising on the right side of her neck. Wyrick told nurses that "her boyfriend beat her up and she did not wish to report it at that time."

"On Saturday, December 19, 2015, at work, Charlie handed a hand-written note to the same co-worker who made the report of her disappearance. The note stated that if Charlie went missing, the co-worker should contact law enforcement and request they search her house," Pabst wrote. "That same day, Charlie told the co-worker that Gomez told her he was going to kill her if she 'pissed him off' any more. Charlie was scheduled to work on December 21, 22, 23, and 24. She did not show up for any of these shifts, nor did she call to report her absence."

The last night Wyrick was seen was on Dec. 20 at her brother's home, but was missing the following morning. On Dec. 21, Missoula police spoke with Gomez and Wyrick's roommate, who told law enforcement he heard screaming and loud thuds coming from upstairs. The roommate went to confront Gomez, only to find out he escaped in his GMC Yukon. "The roommate observed fresh blood on the front steps and blood in the snow right beside where the door of the Yukon was in the driveway."

It was also revealed that Gomez was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time the crimes were allegedly committed.

Following his appearance in justice court, Gomez was led away by police officers and taken to the Missoula County Detention Center.

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