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Pharr police chief provides update in homicide investigation

4 months 1 day 13 hours ago Tuesday, January 25 2022 Jan 25, 2022 January 25, 2022 12:24 PM January 25, 2022 in News - Local

Pharr police on Tuesday provided an update in a homicide investigation that's drawing attention on social media.

Police say two brothers, Alejandro and Christian Treviño, along with a third person identified as Juan Eduardo Melendez, allegedly beat Gabriel Quintanilla to death after they were told he had inappropriately touched a minor.

Pharr police Chief Andy Harvey clarified during a press conference Tuesday that a warrant Quintanilla had for continuous sexual abuse of a child was for a previous incident involving another minor not related to this current case.

"The detectives went out to look for Quintanilla at that time and were unable to find him," Harvey said. "They searched his last known residence, they went to his mother's residence multiple times."

Pharr police first learned about Quintanilla in 2019, when a minor claimed Quintanilla sexually assaulted her between 2014 and 2016.

"He was being elusive, obviously, and hiding from us," Harvey said.

RELATED: Pharr police: 3 arrested in homicide investigation  

Harvey said Quintanilla's name was then entered in a national database -- and he'd been on the run ever since.

Police didn't hear about Quintanilla again until last Friday, when they were notified his body had been found the day before in south McAllen.

Since then, police have arrested three teens, including Quintanilla's stepsons, Alejandro and Christian Trevino.

Christian Trevino and Melendez are now facing capital murder charges.

"Capital murder because he was kidnapped when he was taken in the back of the F-150 and dropped off somewhere else," Harvey said. "And then at the scene where they dropped him off, the Treviño's removed, stole some property from Quintanilla."

When asked if the boys' mother could also face charges, Harvey said it's part of the ongoing investigation.

"That's still all part of the open investigation and that's certainly a question that we had," Harvey said. "Why we weren't notified? And that kind of thing, so there's more questions out there and that's something that we're still looking into."

As of Tuesday night, no charges have been filed against the mother.

The three teens remain in Hidalgo County jail.

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