The distant cousin was arrested in the killing of a Texas girl whose body was found by a fisherman last week.
Lawrence Mireles, 18, is suspected in the killing of 16-year-old Jenna Hernández, who went missing for several days after leaving her house to make a phone call, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She had been texting someone before she went missing.
Aransas (uh-RAN'-zuhs) Pass police said they took Mireles into custody Saturday on a warrant tied to the killing.
Jenna, who worked as a housekeeper at a local hotel, had been at her sister’s house when she stepped out to make a phone call. Her body was found last Thursday near the water.
Jail officials say Mireles was taken to the San Patricio County jail and charged with murder.
His lawyer, Steve Fischer, told the paper the two dated for two years but ended their relationship amicably three years ago. Hernández had been calling him and texting him, but he was at a friend’s home and fell asleep there. Fischer says his client is innocent of the charges.
Authorities have not disclosed how Hernandez died, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Donna Hernández, the teen's aunt, told the paper Mireles is a distant cousin.
Her death comes a week after two other Latinas, Mollie Olgin, 19, and Mary Kristene Chapa, 18, were shot to death in a park near Corpus Christi Bay. Both were killed with a large-caliber handgun.
The arrest seemed to quiet fears that a serial killer in Corpus Christi was targeting Latinas.
A candle-lit vigil was held for Hernández Sunday, and a funeral is planned for Tuesday. Cars were adorned with pink and zebra-print ribbons at the vigil to remember Hernández, which was attended by 600 people.