Blog: Arrests Made in Hughes Case

Today was the day we got the call about the Enrique Hughes murder case. Police called to let us know two people had been taken into custody on Sunday night at a fast-food restaurant in Alice. They are step-brothers and their names are Justin Lopez, 20, and Ismael Gonzalez, 26. Both men are charged with murder and are being held on a $250,000 bond in the Jim Wells County Jail.

Police have a warrant for one more person. He’s descrbed as an aquaintance of the brothers and his name is Leroy Trigo, 27. He’s believed to be in the Houston area. The U.S. Marshal’s Office will help the Alice Police Department search for him.

Hughes, 61, went missing last November after he was lured to a motel room by some women. He was beaten up and assaulted inside the room, then his body taken to field and placed in a shallow grave where he died, according to police.

We talked to Hughes’ wife, Dalia at her Alice house. Her family had been waiting for about nine months for this day to come. They knew he was dead because he would never leave for a long period of time, but wanted to find his remains or body for closure.

Hughes said her husband knew the brothers and Trigo. She described them as drinking buddies and still can’t believe they’re the ones who killed him, though police haven’t said why Hughes was murdered, other than it was an assault that turned into a homicide.

“They did a bad thing and now I am without a husband, my son is without a Dad and the family without a brother and it’s hard for us,” said Hughes. “I guess it wasn’t so hard for them to do. I don’t know. They’re not human.”

Investigators from the Alice Police Department, Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Rangers teamed up together on this case. For several months, they kept hitting dead ends, then about three weeks ago, a call came into a Crimestoppers hotline, telling them where to find the remains of Hughes.

They went to a brushy area located off of Farm-to-Market Road 1554 just outside the city limits of Alice. About 85 yards from the road, they followed the tip and it led them to some human remains. Investigators discovered a vertabrae or the back bone of the skeleton in a shallow grave. They also found other human remains in the area, which they believe were moved around by wild animals in the area. They didn’t find the head or the torso. This tip turned the case around for investigators.

“However this last information we received three weeks ago that led us to discover the remains and kept building on,” said Chief Danny Bueno of the Alice Police Department. “This is where they were able to develop now what we have in place.”

The human remains were sent off for DNA testing in Fort Worth. While they are still awaiting results, they are 99 percent sure the remains are Hughes based off evidence from the crime scene and witness statements.

The Hughes family was happy the investigators stayed on top of this investigation. They credit them for being dilligent and persistent. By making this arrest, it’s brings closure and they want justice for the murder of Hughes.

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