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Victim identified in Hidalgo County murder investigation, two suspects arraigned

Victim identified in Hidalgo County murder investigation, two suspects arraigned
4 weeks 7 hours 56 minutes ago Monday, May 20 2024 May 20, 2024 May 20, 2024 1:24 PM May 20, 2024 in News - Local

Two men who have been arrested in connection to a Hidalgo County murder went before a judge Monday afternoon.

Samuel Uvalle Sr. and Jesus Grijalva have been charged with murder and issued a $5 million bond each. Authorities said the murder investigation is linked to a missing person's report.

RELATED STORY: Second suspect arrested in connection with human remains found in Edinburg

Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Sgt. Enrique Longoria said the incident began on May 11 in Alamo.

He said deputies with the sheriff's office responded to the 1400 block of Val-Bar Drive in reference to a missing person's report.

Deputies said family members reported that 41-year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez De Leon had been missing since May 6.

Longoria said on May 15, investigators with the sheriff's office received information that Grijalva was seen using a tractor to bury something, which was later identified as a human body.

Investigators said they also received details from witnesses that Grijalva got into an argument with Hernandez De Leon on May 7. Witnesses said Uvalle and Grijalva began to assault Hernandez De Leon with a hammer at a residence located at the 1900 block of Morningset Drive in San Juan.

Investigators said a third man, identified as 35-year-old Roberto Salas, also participated in the assault against Hernandez De Leon.

Witnesses also reported that Hernandez De Leon had been buried in a barrel at a residence on the 4600 block of Wisconsin Road in Edinburg.

Longoria said on May 17, investigators obtained search warrants for the residences in Edinburg and San Juan. They found the body of a man buried in a barrel in Edinburg and were able to confirm it was Hernandez De Leon through matching fingerprints.

Longoria said Grijalva was found at the residence in San Juan and was taken into custody.

On May 19, investigators, with assistance from U.S. Marshals, arrested Uvalle at a residence on the 1400 block of Quitaca in Edinburg.

Grijalva and Uvalle were both arraigned on Monday for murder, and an active arrest warrant for murder has been issued for Salas.

Anyone with any information on Salas' whereabouts or on the investigation is urged to call the sheriff's office at 956-383-8114 or the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers Hotline at 956-668-8477.

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