Visual Effects Supervisor Calls for Justice After His Model Wife Was ‘Given Drugs’ and Dumped at LA Hospital

·6 min read

Jan Cilliers, a visual effects supervisor in Los Angeles, is calling for justice after the drug-related deaths of his wife Christy Giles and her friend Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola.

In an interview with TheWrap, Cilliers said he wants the three men who were arrested in the high-profile case but not yet charged in the women’s suspicious deaths “off the street – all of them.”

Giles, a 24-year-old model, and Cabrales-Arzola, a 26-year-old interior designer died last month after they met a group of men at a warehouse party in East Los Angeles, and later went to the West Los Angeles home where two of the men lived.

One of the men, identified by Los Angeles police as David Pearce, 37, was arrested last week on suspicion of manslaughter. He was charged Friday with sexually assaulting four other women over a ten-year span and is being held on $3.4 million bail, according to online L.A. County Sheriff’s Department records.

“Obviously, it looks like (Pearce) has a pattern,” Cilliers said. “Hopefully, they can determine that’s something that continued with Christy and Hilda so that we can get justice for them as well.”

A woman listed as Pearce’s defense attorney with prosecutors did not respond to multiple requests for comment this week.

Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola (Courtesy: GoFundMe)
Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola (Courtesy: GoFundMe)

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Pearce, who has reportedly worked as a club promoter, on Friday with sex crimes involving several alleged incidents between 2010-2020: two counts of rape and one count each of rape of an unconscious or asleep person and sexual penetration by a foreign object. Pearce is scheduled to be arraigned on these charges Wednesday, Dec. 22.

Cilliers described Giles and Cabrales-Arzola as “two beautiful girls” who were “probably unconscious” in Pearce’s residence for up to twelve hours. “I fear the worst (happened to them) considering David’s past,” he said.

The artist and visual effects supervisor, whose credits include “Priest,” “Fast Five,” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” married Giles in September of 2019.

Cilliers and Giles had their first date on Valentine’s Day in 2019, after a mutual friend introduced them at an art gallery in West Hollywood. Cilliers said they had “the most incredible whirlwind romance” and six months later they were married.

“I never thought I’d ever get married,” Cilliers, 41, said. “(But) when you know, you know that someone is your person.” Giles knew how to live in the moment and worked hard at making everyone feel safe and comfortable, her husband said.

Giles and Cabrales-Arzola were dumped outside area hospitals on Nov. 13, according to police. Masked men in a black Toyota Prius with no plates left Giles at Southern California Hospital in Culver City, where she was pronounced dead, police have said. The same men dropped off Cabrales Arzola at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Hospital a short time later. Cabrales Arzola, who was unconscious and in very critical condition, was declared dead on Nov. 24.

“It is believed that both women were given drugs and overdosed at a residence in the 8600 block of Olympic Boulevard,” police said in a Dec. 16 statement. Cilliers said he’s never known his wife to take heavy drugs.

The causes of death in both cases have been deferred pending further tests, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.

Explaining why his wife may have gone to a private home after the party, Cilliers said, “I can only imagine that the only reason she went to (another place after the warehouse party) that night was to follow her friend and make sure she was safe.”

With assistance from the FBI, the LAPD tracked down and arrested Pearce on suspicion of manslaughter in the case. “NCIS: Los Angeles” background actor Brandt Osborn, 42, and Michael Ansbach, 47, a veteran cameraman, were arrested on suspicion of accessory to manslaughter in the women’s deaths.

Prosecutors have yet to file any charges in the deaths of Giles and Cabrales-Arzola, and Osborn and Ansbach have since been released from jail. Prosecutors have asked detectives for “further investigation” on the case, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Osborn declined to comment Monday. Ansbach could not be reached. It was unclear whether the two men had attorneys.

Meanwhile, police are vowing to press forward with their investigation into the women’s deaths after a night of partying.

“We expect more,” LAPD West Bureau Homicide Detective C. Yu said after charges were filed against Pearce. “We’re going to continue our investigation on everything.” Yu added that they “are moving as quickly as we can.”

Cilliers said he heard that one or more of the men had been telling people at the warehouse party in East L.A. that they worked for Australian electronic group Rüfüs Du Sol.

“My understanding is they told the girls that they were going to go to (the band’s) … after-party and they never ended up there and they ended up at (Pearce’s) house,” Cilliers said. “Within 15 to 20 minutes of them being there, (the women) texted each other in the same house that they wanted to leave and they called an Uber and Hilda said the Uber was 10 minutes away.” (A rep for the band told Rolling Stone that the men do not work for the band.)

But many hours later, Giles and Cabrales-Arzola were found unconscious at area hospitals, Cilliers said.

Cabrales-Arzola had moved to Los Angeles earlier this year from Monterrey, Mexico for work.

“She was a fighter and a giver until her very last breath — as per her family’s wishes, parts of her will be donated as precious gifts of life to those in need,” stated a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $67,000 for Cabrales Arzola’s hospital and burial expenses.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Cilliers with expenses arising from his wife’s death, including a private investigation. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised more than $134,000.

Cilliers hopes to start a foundation that would provide lawyers, private investigators and psychological support for those who have been through sexual trauma as he fears his wife suffered that night.

Giles was planning to enroll in a psychology course early next year and eventually hoped to study at UCLA, he said. She was passionate about mental health and helping women in the modeling industry overcome trauma.

“I’m hoping that charges get laid against all three men for what happened to Christy and Hilda and praying that my wife gets at least a little bit of justice,” Cilliers said.