EAGLE PASS, Texas — A migrant released by the Biden administration to pursue an asylum case was arrested Monday by the Texas Rangers as a suspect in the murder of a Houston man in Eagle Pass, Texas. Murder suspect Roberto Emilio Vasquez-Santamaria, a 64-year-old Peruvian national, was released by Border Patrol to a non-governmental shelter in the city on May 9, 2023, according to a CBP source.
Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told Breitbart Texas in an interview Tuesday evening that the alleged murder happened around 9:30 a.m. Monday at Cotorra Street and Progresso Avenue in the Loma Bonita neighborhood. The investigation began after a man was found bludgeoned to death in the backyard of a neighborhood home. According to Sheriff Schmerber, the unnamed victim is a 40-year-old Houston man.
Sheriff Schmerber declined to provide further details, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation being conducted in coordination with the Texas Rangers.
Other law enforcement sources told Breitbart Texas that the house where the victim was found had been used in the past in migrant smuggling. The motive for the murder has not been established, according to these sources.
The source within CBP, not authorized to speak to the media, told Breitbart Texas that the suspect, Roberto Emilio Vasquez-Santamaria, was arrested by Border Patrol at Eagle Pass after crossing the Rio Grande. Vasquez-Santamaria was treated at a nearby facility, released to a non-governmental shelter and chose to remain in the Eagle Pass area after being released.
Vasquez-Santamaria is currently being held in the Maverick County Jail on a murder charge.
Eagle Pass is currently experiencing an unprecedented increase in migrant crossings in recent days. On the day of Vasquez-Santamaria’s arrest, more than 1,500 migrants, most of them Venezuelans, were detained by Border Patrol after crossing the border near the heart of the city.
According to Maverick County Sherrif Schmerber, the case remains under investigation.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as Division Chief of Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations of nine Border Patrol stations in the Del Rio Sector, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.