Suspect charged in alleged butt injection death of Bay Area model granted bail

The woman accused of giving a fatal injection during an unlicensed cosmetic procedure at a Burlingame hotel is being released from jail.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak on Tuesday ruled at Tuesday's bail hearing that the defense proved Vivian Gomez is not a flight risk.

At the hearing, the father of the victim testified. Michael Gourkani walked to the witness stand and passed Vivian Gomez, but paused for a moment and shook his head in disgust.

"She (Christina Gourkani) was murdered by that lady. She killed her," he said shortly after being sworn in. And then moments later, "Your honor picture yourself (having) a gorgeous daughter and in a matter of 24 hours she kills her, and she runs away to Florida…It’s no different than putting a gun to someone’s head…She killed her."

In the end, Judge Novak ruled that Gomez, who was emotional and cried during the hearing, does not pose a risk of fleeing to her native country, Columbia, since both her passports were surrendered.

Her bail was set at $200,000.

"The money being put up is not ill-gotten gains from the conduct that she engaged in. So we’re satisfied with that, that there’s a legitimate source for it, coming from a family member," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Gomez’s son put up $40,000 for his mother’s bail. He said $30,000 of the total used came from a loan from his employer.

Vivian Gomez is accused in the April 2023 death of Kim Kardashian look-a-like and social media influencer Christina Gourkani. Prosecutors said Gomez flew to the Bay Area from Florida and illegally administered a butt-enhancing substance to Gourkani at a Burlingame hotel. Soon thereafter, Gourkani became sick and died a day later.

"There was information, even in the police reports, that Ms. Gourkani has had a similar reaction that she had with this incident, with other medical procedures not done by Ms. Gomez," said lead defense attorney Geoff Carr.

Prosecutors extradited Gomez from Florida and charged her with involuntary manslaughter, and practicing medicine without a license.

"She had an infection, causing a pulmonary embolism which of course can always be fatal," said Wagstaffe.

Defense attorneys counter that the toxicology reports haven’t been finished, and the cause of death is still undetermined.

"If they’d just charged for practicing medicine without a license, well that would have all made sense because they didn’t know. But they went ahead and filed the involuntary manslaughter charges, and as yet it’s unclear what was the modus of death," said Carr.

Gomez is set to be released from jail Tuesday evening.

Judge Novak attached multiple conditions to her release including that she must stay in California.

Her defense lawyers said she’ll stay with her sister-in-law in Chatsworth.

A preliminary hearing is slated for June 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Redwood City courthouse.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter, @JesseKTVU and Instagram, @jessegontv.