Double Homicide Cold Case Suspect Faces Judge After 23 Years
POSTED: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 5:49pm
WESLACO - The courtroom quickly fell silent when Arturo Almaguer, 42, entered the court room wearing a yellow jumpsuit this afternoon.
"Mr. Almaguer you are being charged with capital murder, I am setting your bond at one million dollars cash assurity" said Judge Carlos Garza.
Almaguer is the main suspect of a double homicide case. It's not a recent case, in fact November 13th will be the 24 year mark of the murder of Evan Squires, 70, and his wife Wilda Squire,64. The Squires were winter texans who were visiting from Canada.
Weslaco Interim Chief Michael Kelley remembers the homicide well.
"This was only the second homicide that I really worked, and I think because of that, that's why it stands out. The senselessness of it. Why those two people had to die? I couldn't believe it, couldn't understand why it occurred," said Kelley.
It happened in the Magic Valley RV Park. At the time, DNA just started coming to the forefront of police investigations.
"We are always trained to pick up everything we could possibly find at the scene of a crime and hold on to it. And in this case, that is what the lady did, she picked up the DNA evidence that we had, she held onto it. We kept submitting it over the years," said Kelley.
And that's when they found a match with Almaguer in 2010. It took two years, but police finally got him extradited back to Weslaco.
Investigator Billy Pemelton still keeps in contact with the Squire family.
"Initially he was shocked that after 22 years that an arrest was going to be made. I did speak to him recently, he does want to be down here for the trial. I will be calling him to let him know what the outcome was on the arraignment," said Invgt. Billy Pemelton.
It may be hard to believe, but the cold case did bring one good thing to the area.
"The crime was so tragic back then, that they decided to take a stand against crime. Not just to solve the Squires murders, but just to facilitate solving other crimes that were occurring in town," said JP Rodriguez, Weslaco Police.
One year after this case, Weslaco Crime Stoppers was born. The weslaco police station has been using that tip line to solve crimes ever since.
But justice has not yet been served on this case.
"This is only the first step, we have him in custody now, I want to see this case go through and get the guilty. I try to do it, to give the family some type of a closure," said Pemelton.
The case will now be turned over the Hidalgo County District Attorney's office and should eventually go to trial.