Monterey Co. transient gets 15 years to life for killing Santa Cruz woman

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (BCN) - Monterey County prosecutors announced today that a transient man was sentenced to 15 years to life for the murder of a Santa Cruz woman who was reported missing in early 2015. 

Dale Pierce, 43, pleaded no contest on Aug. 7, to second-degree murder for the killing of Remie Casillas who was reported missing in February 2015. 

On Aug. 26, 2016, a heavy equipment operator found Casillas's body buried on a dirt lot on Rio Road in Carmel. 

Casillas had been last seen in Sand City with Pierce. 

Prosecutors said deputies found a wallet with an identification card of Pierce's near Casillas's body. 

For 16 months deputies investigated Casillas's death, which included a search for Pierce, who was eventually located Taos, New Mexico.

Detectives traveled to Taos on Dec. 4, 2017, located Pierce with the help of local law enforcement and interviewed him. Pierce confessed to the killing, prosecutors said. 

Pierce was immediately arrested and extradited to Monterey County. 
   

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