Watch CBS News

San Francisco pair found guilty in 2019 torture killing of man found in suitcase

PIX Now Afternoon Edition 1-23-24
PIX Now Afternoon Edition 1-23-24 09:28

SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly five years after a man was tortured to death before being dumped into San Francisco Bay in a suitcase, two people have been convicted in his murder, prosecutors said Tuesday.

According to District Attorney Brooke Jenkins' office, a jury convicted 52-year-old Gerald Rowe of first-degree murder, with an allegation that the murder was intentional and involved torture and that the murder was by the administration of poison. Rowe was also convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said a second suspect, 41-year-old Angel Anderson, separately pleaded guilty to first-degree murder by way of torture and poisoning.

The pair were accused of killing George Saldivar, whose body was found in a suitcase floating in the water near The Embarcadero on Feb. 18, 2019.

Gerald W. Rowe (left) and Angel Anderson's (right) booking photos. : San Francisco Police Department  

"We feel an overwhelming sense of relief for the victim's family who have waited far too long to receive justice in this case. Mr. Rowe and Ms. Anderson's actions were heinous and a beloved son's life was lost far too early," Jenkins said in a statement.

According to testimony, Saldivar visited Rowe and Anderson at Rowe's apartment on the 1200 block of Market Street on Feb. 3, 2019, when Anderson confronted him with a machete. She and Rowe then tied and bound the victim before placing a noose around his neck and torturing him.

"The victim was tortured for more than four hours in this position as he was screamed at, hit, punched, sodomized, assaulted with plyers (sic), and a bag placed over his head," prosecutors said.

Rowe then left the apartment to obtain fentanyl. When he returned, prosecutors said he then injected a fentanyl and water mixture into Saldivar.

About 90 seconds later, Saldivar began to convulse and struggled to breathe. The pair then placed him into a suitcase and waited for him to die, prosecutors said.

A day later, Rowe and Anderson donned disguises and rolled the suitcase nearly two miles to the Bay near Rincon Park, where they tossed his body into the water.

"While this conviction cannot undo the hours of torture and painful poisoning experienced by the victim, it does condemn the depravity of the defendant's acts along with the inhumane way he handled the victim's remains when he threw him into the Bay like garbage," Assistant District Attorney Charly Weissenbach said.

According to prosecutors, both Rowe and Anderson remain in custody.

Rowe faces life in prison without the possibility of parole and will be sentenced on March 18. Anderson will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on the same date.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.