PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Pharr Police Department held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to speak on the killing of a 43-year-old man.
Chief of Police, Andy Harvey, stated that the victim identified as Gabriel Quintanilla, had a warrant dating back to 2019 for continuous sexual assault of a child.
Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey in a press conference on Jan. 25 discusses the details of this case.
Harvey explained that this was a separate incident unrelated to those involved in the current homicide investigation. In that case, the assault towards a minor happened from 2014 to 2016. It was reported to authorities in May 2019.
In regards to the current investigation, the chief shared that the suspects in the killing of Quintanilla have cooperated with authorities.
When asked, Harvey stated that at this time in the investigation no charges have been filed against the mother.
On January 20, the body of Gabriel Quintanilla was found in an open field in McAllen.
According to police, earlier that day a young relative accused Quintanilla of sexual assault.
When relatives, Alejandro and Christian Treviño, heard they confronted Quintanilla at the residence, which resulted in a physical fight, police said. Quintanilla then left the residence.
Christian ran after Quintanilla and found him outside an apartment complex down the road by Lyndon and Coyote in Pharr. A second assault then occurred, said the release.
Police then say Alejandro and a driver of a red Dodge Charger, identified as Melendez, caught up and joined the assault towards Quintanilla.
Melendez was not related to Quintanilla but was a friend to Christian and Alejandro.
The three suspects left the complex and dropped off Alejandro at his residence. The other two changed vehicles and drove back in a white Ford F-150. Authorities say the suspects found Quintanilla walking along Veterans Road alone and injured.
Quintanilla was severely beaten for the third time. According to police, Quintanilla was placed in the bed of the truck and taken to Mccoll and Whalen Road where he was dropped off in an open field. Officials believe he was still alive at the time he was left at the location.
On January 21, authorities made contact with the first suspect identified as Alejandro Treviño, 18.
Over the weekend, they were able to arrest two other suspects, Christian Treviño, 17, and Juan Eduardo Melendez, 19.
Sunday, police charged the three individuals in connection to the investigation.
- Alejandro Treviño – Aggravated Assault FV, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
- Christian Treviño – Capital Murder, Aggravated Assault FV, Engaging In Criminal Activity
- Juan Eduardo Melendez – Capital Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Engaging in Criminal Activity
At the press conference, Harvey also stated that the suspects face capital murder charges specifically because they kidnapped Quintanilla and removed personal items from the body.
The investigation has revealed that Quintanilla was severely beaten with brass knuckles and that he suffered severe head trauma.