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Shantay Huntington was killed by Guillermo Romero — Murder Decoded spotlights the case

Guillermo Romero and Shantay Huntington photo
Shantay Huntington was killed by Guillermo Romero. Pic credit: Florida Department of Corrections/Family

The latest episode of Murder Decoded features the case of 18-year-old Shantay Huntington, an escort who was killed by Guillermo Romero.

At around 7:30 pm on May 22, 2006, Huntington left a motel on 36th Street and Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Florida, where she was staying with her boyfriend, Tyree Banks. She had gone to get something to eat, but when she failed to return, Banks alerted the police.

Huntington’s nude body was found by her sister, Margaret Leyba, the following day in a wooded area near 14118 71st Place N. and Orange Boulevard and Seminole-Pratt Whitney Road in Loxahatchee.

Map showing the location of Huntington’s body
Huntington’s body was found in a wooded area. Pic credit: Google Maps/Monsters and Critics

Her body was wrapped in a white bedsheet and a blue shower curtain, which was secured with duct tape at her head and feet.

An autopsy showed that her cause of death was asphyxiation. Huntington had been savagely choked to the point where the bones in her throat were broken.

Romero was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after his DNA matched some collected from the body.

An investigation revealed that on the day Huntington went missing, she met up with Romero after placing an escort-services ad in the back pages section of the Miami New Times newspaper.

Romero’s ex-wife, Dagmara Toledo, told police that he had once asked her to have a threesome with another woman and that he would hire an escort, but she refused. He confessed that while she was away, he hired an escort and brought her to their home to have sex.

Investigators believe that escort was Huntington, who he strangled to death after having sexual intercourse with her.

Romero initially denied ever meeting Huntington, but in 2013, he pled guilty to manslaughter. It looks from the records that he was released right away and ended up serving three years and four months for the killing.

Inmate release document
Guillermo’s Inmate Release Details from the Florida Department of Corrections website. Pic Credit: Florida Department of Corrections

Sex workers are often the most vulnerable members of society regards these sorts of crime with the likes of the Daytona Beach serial killer and murderer Robert Pickton both targeting them.

Murder Decoded — The Cocoon, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

Angelica N. Sumter is a freelance journalist who has covered true crime for more than 10 years. In addition to Monsters and Critics, her work... read more
Angelica N. Sumter

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