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Suspected murder of Tanya Petro by Ron Paoletto investigated on Your Worst Nightmare

Mugshot of Ron Paoletto
Ron Paoletto was suspected of killing Tanya Petro. Pic credit: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office

Your Worst Nightmare is examining the murder of Tanya Petro from Lake Elsinore, CA., who was beaten to death and buried in the Californian desert in 2011.

Her suspected killer was her boyfriend, Ron Paoletto; however, he committed suicide before standing trial.

Tanya Petro was last seen on January 4, 2011, when she left her apartment complex with her partner Paoletto. The pair were traveling to Yucca Valley to pick up Paoletto’s children, but he arrived there alone.

The soon-to-be suspected murderer told his family that he had had an argument with 33-year-old Petro on the journey and had dropped her off somewhere.

However, Petro’s family reported her missing when she failed to contact her children, who were staying with their father in Arizona. The missing persons case turned into a murder case when Petro’s remains were discovered in the desert about 12 miles north of Yucca Valley.

Petro had had a horrific death. She had been brutally beaten with a shovel, which had cut her throat, broken her jaw, and smashed the back of her head.

It’s unclear if she was alive or dead when buried in the sand.

Ron Paoletto escaped trial for suspected murder of Tanya Petro

Paoletto was a convicted sex offender who had a charge for performing lewd acts on a minor, and it was a violation of the sex registry requirements that actually led to his arrest.

He was later charged with the first-degree murder of Petro. He pleaded not guilty.

The suspected killer avoided his time in front of the judge by hanging himself in his jail cell in July 2011. He was 41.

On Paoletto’s suicide, Greg Jacques, Petro’s older brother, told the press, “We don’t know how he did it. There is no justice in this at all. He bypassed what was coming to him.”

More from Your Worst Nightmare

Follow the links to read about more horrific crimes profiled on Your Worst Nightmare.

Patrick ‘Andy’ LeFleur kidnapped and tortured his girlfriend, Sandi Musk, after she attempted to break up with him. His vicious crime will see him spend up to 60 years in prison.

Chris Hanney and Audrey Mabrey’s marriage was disintegrating, and they had been separated for months. However, one day, Hanney attacked his wife and, shockingly, tried to set her alight.

Your Worst Nightmare airs Tuesday at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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