While the police were on their way, the situation became violent, leaving Kimberly with bruises all over her body. Neither party was taken into custody, but after that night Kimberly told friends and family that she was afraid to go home. She thought about making a formal domestic-violence complaint and planned to move out of the house with the children. When asked if she’d “threatened to call the police and show them bruises,” Jeffrey Preciado said, “Oh, yes. She was holding it over my head all week.” Kimberly may have used the tactic to prevent further violence.
Unlike Kimberly, who protected Jeffrey by not making a police report, Jeffrey went in to file a complaint against her. “My father made me do it,” he later testified. Father and son were hoping that making a police report would support claims against Kim in the anticipated custody battle. While Jeffrey Preciado was at work, his father went to the constable’s office to start the eviction process. Jeffrey described the game plan: “I would basically break up with her and have her move out of the house and I move back in with my son.”
According to court documents and police reports, Jeffrey and Edward Preciado planned to secretly videotape and audiotape their confrontation with Kimberly, using equipment concealed in the couple’s garage. Father and son hoped she would say something incriminating. This “evidence” would be used to portray her as a bad mother in the custody dispute. Meanwhile, Preciado-Nuño rented Jeffrey a room at the South Point Hotel. When Kimberly finished her shift at 4:00 a.m. and came home, Jeffrey wasn’t there. She and Jeffrey exchanged telephone calls.
Jeffrey Preciado later testified: “I finally speak to her and she’s wondering where I’m at. I’m kind of being evasive. I don’t want her to know that I’m at the South Point…I keep brushing her off and saying I will be home soon.” At the same time, his father was insisting that he stay at the hotel. Jeffrey said: “It’s better if I’m not there. If there is nobody to arrest, I can’t be arrested.”
Edward Preciado-Nuño moved on with the plan of confronting Kimberly. He hid papers beneath his clothes and threatened Kimberly with their content. She wanted to read the documents, but he wouldn’t let her. Preciado-Nuño admitted “taunting her” and “telling her lies,” hoping to provoke an outburst, but Kimberly did not give in to Preciado-Nuño’s bullying.
Later, bloody footsteps led detectives to the camcorder hidden in the trunk of Preciado-Nuño’s car and to an audio recorder concealed in the bedroom of Kimberly’s ten-year-old son.
This was the equipment originally set up in the garage to document the confrontation with Kimberly. If she’d picked up a hammer and attacked Preciado-Nuño, he would have rushed to the police with that kind of evidence. But according to his own statements, Preciado-Nuño — a seasoned FBI agent and a former Marine — easily disarmed Kimberly. At that point he could have left the garage and called the police. Instead, he beat her to death with a claw hammer, then ran around in an apparent attempt to hide the video recorder.
Most defendants in similar scenarios would be denied bail. But Preciado-Nuño is awaiting trial at home, having posted a modest $250,000 bond, as ordered by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman.
Edward Preciado-Nuño is a brother of Oscar Preciado — former port director for the San Ysidro Port of Entry (the largest and busiest land border crossing in the United States). Oscar Preciado now works as a special project manager for the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. After Edward Preciado-Nuño murdered Kimberly Long, Oscar Preciado traveled to Las Vegas in a show of support for his brother. Both were born in Tijuana, Mexico, and moved to San Diego as children when their family immigrated to the United States.
The possibility of Preciado-Nuño utilizing his brother’s access to the U.S.-Mexico border did not stop the court from releasing the accused murderer from house arrest and allowing him to travel to San Diego on two occasions — once for almost one month, “to get his house and affairs in order,” and more recently on April 11, 2010, to attend the wedding of his daughter. Edward Preciado-Nuño was photographed partying at the Abbey in Uptown San Diego.
Such leniency is especially unusual in light of the gruesome nature of the charges against Preciado-Nuño. Still unsatisfied, he and his attorneys have filed motions to modify the conditions of his release and free him from the restrictions of house arrest, touting his background as an FBI Agent and his alleged ties to the Las Vegas community. To date all motions have been denied.
After Preciado-Nuño moved from Las Vegas to San Diego, he lost touch with old friends, who were shocked to read about his arrest. During his 25-year tenure with the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, Preciado-Nuño served within the organized crime division. Preciado’s former attorney, Richard Wright, stated, “He has former FBI agents that support him and have been friends during the various court proceedings, and they will help him again.” According to FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth, Edward Preciado-Nuño retired from the bureau in 2003. He has been married to Lana Preciado for 40 years and has two adult children and three grandchildren.
During the first bail hearing in this case, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Abbi Silver said she “smelled a rat” when she looked over the paperwork. “There are some really weird facts in this case,” Silver said. “It doesn’t make sense, though, [for] the facts as I read them, especially with a retired FBI agent, to turn out like this.”
Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci said, “I don’t argue with the fact that he was in the police and the FBI. I don’t argue with the fact that he doesn’t have a prior criminal history. But we can’t get away from the crime we’re actually looking at. We can’t get away from the brutal, brutal killing that this was and a self-admitted person who flies off the handle.”