EAGLE PASS, Texas — A migrant released by the Biden administration to pursue an asylum claim was arrested by Texas Rangers as a suspect in the murder of a Houston man in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Monday. According to a source within CBP, the murder suspect, Roberto Emilio Vasquez-Santamaria, a 64-year-old Peruvian national, was released by Border Patrol to a non-government shelter in the city on May 9, 2023.
Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told Breitbart Texas during an interview on Tuesday night the alleged murder occurred on Cotorra Street and Progresso Avenue in the Loma Bonita neighborhood on Monday at around 9:30 a.m. The investigation began after a man was discovered bludgeoned to death in the backyard of a home in the neighborhood. According to Sheriff Schmerber, the unnamed victim is a 40-year-old Houston man.
Sheriff Schmerber declined to give additional details, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation being conducted in coordination with the Texas Rangers.
Additional law enforcement sources told Breitbart Texas the house where the victim was discovered had been used in the past in connection with migrant smuggling. A 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 the suspect, Roberto Emilio Vasquez-Santamaria, was arrested by the Border Patrol in Eagle Pass after crossing the Rio Grande. Vasquez-Santamaria was processed at a nearby facility, released to a non-government 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 murder charges.
Eagle Pass is currently experiencing an unprecedented surge in migrant crossings in recent days. On the day of Vasquez-Santamaria’s arrest, more than 1,500 mostly Venezuelan migrants were arrested by the Border Patrol after surging across 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 the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.