Grand jury charges men with kidnapping, capital murder - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Grand jury charges men with kidnapping, capital murder

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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:29 pm | Updated: 9:31 am, Tue Jul 23, 2013.

A Cameron County grand jury has indicted eight men in connection with the July kidnapping and murder of 22-year-old Reyes Bocanegra, court records show.

Serafin Lazaro Lugo, 37, of Edinburg, Oscar Cisneros, 30, of Sullivan City, Victor Ernesto Matamoros Orellana, 31, of Donna, Orlando Martinez Perez and Jorge Aleman, 31, of Donna, have been indicted on a charge of capital murder by terror threat and aggravated kidnapping.

Also indicted are brothers Leonardo Vasquez, 28, of San Benito, and Carlos Enrique Vasquez, 33, of Mercedes, who police have said were the masterminds behind the crime, and Abraham Parra, 24, of Laredo.

The indictment was handed down Oct. 24.Police said Bocanegra, a Brownsville resident, was kidnapped and killed July 19. A group of armed men stormed a small restaurant at 374 Military Highway, tied up employees and customers, and forced him into his own Chevrolet Tahoe.

Bocanegra’s body was found in the Tahoe an hour later 12 or 15 miles away on a road north of Rancho Viejo, police said. He had a single bullet hole in his head.

Enrique Vasquez was arrested on his birthday, Aug. 7, according to the indictment. All of the arrests were made between July 31 and Aug. 18.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Martinez Perez had been arrested, but a search for him in Cameron County Jail didn’t yield any other results. The indictment against Martinez Perez is also sealed.The rest of the suspects are being held there. Although a 15-year-old boy is also charged in the crime, it’s not clear where he is because he is a juvenile.

Bocanegra was in a back room when armed men walked inside the restaurant, police said. They sat down briefly, but then got up and ordered all the customers and workers to the ground, then tied them up.

A security video showed the abduction and it looked like five armed individuals entered the restaurant and left with Bocanegra. Initially, the camera was destroyed but police were able to salvage it and recover the video.

According to police, witnesses told them the men hit Bocanegra, threw him to the floor, struck him with a stick and with their hands, kicked and stomped on him, and bound his hands.

It is unknown what route his abductors took, police said at the time, speculating that the men could have traveled on Highway 281 to Roberta Road or could have used U.S. Expressway 77/83 to get where the body was found.

“We don’t have any witnesses that can tell us that. We know the position the vehicle was found and we are checking out both scenarios … by the time they (the witnesses) were able to free themselves and call us they were long gone,” Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said at the time.

It is unknown how long the witnesses were tied up before they managed to untie themselves and call police.

At the time, Rodriguez said the kidnapping and murder were drug-related and that authorities were trying to determine whether Bocanegra’s death could be linked to a drug cartel.

“Nothing is ruled out. Nothing has been completely eliminated,” the chief said at the time. “The motive was to address a narcotics issue. To what extent, we are still working on and the exact roles of everyone involved. I will state to you it was drug-related.”

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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