Elizabeth Halseth's daughter Sierra and her 18-year-old boyfriend face murder charges, after the girl's 45-year-old father was found stabbed, burned and partially hacked up.
The daughter of former Nevada state senator Elizabeth Halseth has been accused of murdering her own father.
Sierra Halseth, 16, and her boyfriend Anthony Guerrero (above right), 18, face murder charges after her 45-year-old father Daniel Halseth (above left) was found stabbed, burned and partially dismembered. Multiple outlets, as well Elizabeth's old bio on the official Las Vegas Legislature website, have confirmed Sierra is the former Senator's daughter
The grisly discovery was made on Friday night, after Las Vegas police asked his landlord to check on him when his mother reported not hearing from him in two days.
Opening his garage, the landlord found his charred body, which had suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest, neck and back. Halseth's car was also missing.
Inside, officers immediately noticed the strong odor of lighter fluid throughout the house. In the living room, they found a large scorch mark with blood nearby, as well as a brand new chainsaw. In the kitchen, there was a handsaw "with apparent blood and tissue on the saw and in between the groves of the saw." They also found another circular saw with extra blades still in the packaging, as well as two folding knives.
Investigators said there were "extensive" efforts to clean up the house; and claimed the fire had been intentionally set in an abandoned attempt to cover up the stabbing.
As officers were investigating, a couple approached officers and told them they were looking for their son, Anthony Guerrero, who had been dating Halseth's daughter, Fox5 Vegas reported.
His mother told police the teens dated from June 2020 to December 2020, until Daniel Halseth contacted them and told them he had discovered the pair were planning on running away to Los Angeles together; both sets of parents agreed they should no longer see each other.
Soon afterward, Guerrero ran away from home, they said.
Police then contacted Halseth's ex-wife Elizabeth, who now goes by Elizabeth Helgelien, having married Vegas realtor Tiger Helgelien. She told them that she and her ex had remained close after the divorce, and that they still shared a joint bank account. Around the time of the murder, she said $1,300 had been taken in multiple withdrawals, eventually prompting a fraud alert.
She also told investigators her ex had been having trouble with the daughter, specifically surrounding her boyfriend Guerrero.
The teens were easy to track through surveillance footage; first taking Halseth's blue Nissan Altima, before going to Wico to buy two gallons of bleach and a gallon of orange juice. Home Depot cameras also showed Guerrero buying the saws and gloves, police said.
After issuing a warrant for their arrest that day, they were arrested on Tuesday aboard a train in Utah, after Guerrero was asked to show a ticket but admitted he didn't have one.
"It's definitely disturbing when you have such young … a young man and a young woman that are being accused of such a horrific crime," Lt. Ray Spencer of Metro’s Homicide Section told 8 News Now.
"We do know that the father had recently made comments that he did not want his daughter dating Aaron."
Spencer said that when Helseth's mom couldn't contact her son, she tried calling her granddaughter; Sierra told her her dad was in the shower and his phone was broken, which is why she couldn't reach him.
"Through the investigation, we have been able to determine from surveillance video at various local big box stores where those items were purchased, where we have them on video surveillance, both of them purchasing different items, from the chainsaw to the bleach and items that were used to clean up the crime scene," Spencer added. "There is surveillance video and receipts, indicating when the items were purchased here locally that were used in the cover up of the crime."
Both teens will almost certainly be tried as adults; in Nevada, a child young as 13 can be tried as an adult for murder or attempted murder; but once they hit 16, Juvenile court has no jurisdiction for such serious charges.
Guerrero's attorney Gabriel Grasso told ABC4 he was relieved the young couple are now "safe and sound" in the hands of police.
"Now that, hopefully, they are safe and sound, and they're in the hands of the authorities at this point, but at least they're not, you know, out there on their own, and they're, I mean, they’re both pretty young people," he said. "Now, reality sets in, and we have to see what's up and what the evidence shows and how much, if any, trouble they're in."
Elizabeth Helgelien, 38, was elected to state legislature in 2010, making her the youngest female state senator in Nevada's history.
She resigned two years later, in February 2012, citing an "incredibly difficult private matter" and the need to focus on finding a better-paying job and her role as a mother of three children. Her decision came just two days after members of a legislative committee proposed replacing her because she had been missing meetings and was hard to reach, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Daniel had filed for divorce three months earlier, after 11 years and three children together.
Three months after her resignation, she featured in Maxim's Hot 100, and posed for a second bikini shoot for a dedicated profile in the magazine later that year. She tried to rejoin the Nevada Senate in 2018, running as a Republican once again, but was unsuccessful.
TooFab was unable to reach Helgelien by phone at her Las Vegas office, where she now works as a realtor alongside her husband. She had no comment for 8 News Now Las Vegas.