Records: Pharr man confessed to harming brother for $100, neighbor says

2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago Thursday, April 29 2021 Apr 29, 2021 April 29, 2021 9:45 AM April 29, 2021 in News - Local
By: Jose De Leon III
David Sandoval (left) and Roel Pecina (right) have been charged in connection with the death of 65-year-old Ruben Sandoval. Photo credit: Hidalgo County jail records

Records released by the Pharr Police Department allege that the man accused of murdering his brother and then dumping his body at a local park may have done so over $100.

David Sandoval, 60, is accused of murdering his brother Ruben Sandoval, 65. Ruben’s body was discovered April 21 in the bed of his own pickup truck in the parking lot of Memorial Park, located at 501 W. Egly Ave.

Pharr police officers arrived at the scene to perform a welfare check on a male subject lying in the truck bed, according to the criminal complaint against David Sandoval.

“Upon checking the bed of the truck [the officer] observed a male subject…covered with a green dots blanket and a foul odor emitting from the body with multiple head injuries,” the criminal complaint states. “The deceased was identified as a missing person reported earlier in the day.”

At a press conference held the following day, officials said surveillance video from the park captured one of the suspects driving and parking the victim's pickup truck.

READ MORE: Two suspects arrested in Pharr stabbing death, police say

David was apprehended hours after his brother’s body was found, the complaint stated.

An investigator with the Pharr Police Department reached out to Ruben’s family members, who said they suspected David was involved in Ruben’s death.

The investigator also interviewed a neighbor who was seen leaving the home the day of the murder, according to the complaint.

“[The neighbor] stated that the defendant confessed to her that he harmed his brother for $100,” the complaint states.

Roel Pecina, David’s roommate, was also arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder and charged with tampering with evidence and failure to report a felony.

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Pecina confessed to helping David clean up a large amount of blood inside the residence they share, according to the complaint.

“Roel stated that David informed him that he had been in an altercation with his own brother,” the complaint against Pecina said. “After the interior was washed off, Roel left to run errands and failed to report the offense.”

Pecina’s bond was set at $52,500. Hidalgo County jail records show David had no bond set for the capital murder charge and faces a $12,500 bond for the charges of evading arrest and tampering with evidence.

Both men remain in custody, according to Hidalgo County jail records.

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