Murder suspects filmed themselves using excavator to bury barrel containing the man they killed with a hammer: Cops

Jesus Grijalva Jr., Monica Gomez, Samuel Uvalle Sr., and Roberto Salas (Hidalgo County Sheriff

Left to right: Jesus Grijalva Jr., Monica Gomez, Samuel Uvalle Sr., and Roberto Salas (Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office)

Two men and a woman have all been arrested and accused of killing a man in Texas, allegedly beating him to death with a hammer before stuffing his body into a barrel and filming themselves while they used construction equipment to bury it.

Jesus Grijalva Jr., 43, Samuel Uvalle Sr., 47, and Monica Gomez, 41, had all been taken into custody last month and charged with murder in connection to the brutal slaying of Juan Carlos Hernandez De Leon, authorities announced. A fourth murder suspect, Roberto Salas, 35, has been on the run for weeks and remains at large.

According to a news release from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on May 13 were informed about a possible homicide that took place in San Juan, Texas. A witness told investigators that an adult male who had been reported missing earlier in the month — later identified as Hernandez De Leon — had been killed at a residence located in the 1900 block of Morningset Road. The residence is about 240 miles south of San Antonio.

Additionally, the witness told investigators that the victim’s body had been moved to another location in the area near the 4600 block of Wisconsin Road in Edinburg, Texas, a few miles northwest from the site of the alleged murder.

Initially, investigators said that they identified Grijalva Jr, Uvalle Sr., and Salas as being responsible for Hernandez De Leon’s murder. However, through witness testimony and cellphone video obtained from one of the suspects, authorities said they also confirmed that Gomez took part in the killing and burying of Hernandez De Leon.

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