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Texas suspect accused in severed head case now charged with grizzly murder of man found buried under vacant home

February 20, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas suspect accused in severed head case now charged with grizzly murder of man found buried under vacant home

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Two Texas men including a murder suspect already charged in the gruesome slayings of a Texas couple found in a shallow grave in September were indicted last week in connection with the fatal shooting of another man whose body was found buried under the foundation of a Fort Worth home.

Authorities acted on a tip, which led to the discovery of 34-year-old Triston Ray Algiene on October 3rd. He had been reported missing by his family in early July.

Investigators said the victim’s body was cut in half and hidden under a repair patch in a vacant home’s foundation in southwest Fort Worth.

Last Thursday, a grand jury in Tarrant County indicted Hector “Cholo” Acosta, 28, and Felipe Eduardo Ortiz, 29, on capital murder charges in connection with Algiene’s robbery-related homicide, the Star-Telegram reported.

Hector Acosta Courtesy Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office

Detectives had previously identified a link between Algiene’s death and another murder case out of Arlington.

In September, Acosta was indicted on capital murder charges in the fatal shootings of Erick “Diablo” Zelaya and Zelaya’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Iris Chirinos in Arlington.

The bullet-riddled decapitated remains of Erick “Diablo” Zelaya was discovered in a shallow grave behind an Arlington residence along with his 17-year-old girlfriend, Iris Chirinos, who was also fatally shot.

Acosta-Ojeda and 18-year-old Mariano Sanchez-Pina were taken into custody on suspicion of murder in connection with the couple’s death.

The grisly Arlington case was launched on September 2nd after Zelaya’s severed head was discovered near a walking trail in a wooded area. A sign next to the head said “La Raza Se Resreta y Faltan 4” or, “The race, or group, must be respected and there’s four left.”

Felipe Eduardo Ortiz Courtesy Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office

That day, Sanchez-Pina was taken into custody on an unrelated warrant and later provided homicide investigators with information about the severed head they’d recovered.

A search of the backyard by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office revealed a human leg and foot believed to belong to Zelaya. Through further excavation, authorities eventually discovered the rest of Zelaya’s remains and that of Chirinos.

Lieutenant Christopher Cook, a spokesperson for the Arlington police department, said at the time that detectives did not find evidence that Chirinos was involved in the incident, but may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“We believe it’s intertwined, entangled with illicit drugs,” Cook added. “We believe it comes back to that nexus, related to money and drugs.”

Mariano Sanchez, 18 Courtesy Arlington Police Department 

However, investigators now say Zelaya and Chirinos both played roles in the robbery-related fatal shooting of Algiene.

Sources say Acosta, Ortiz, Zelaya and Chirinos plotted to rob Algiene.

Algiene reportedly went to a residence where Acosta and Ortiz had been renting bedrooms for what he believed was for a drug transaction.

When the victim arrived, he was bound with zip ties, beaten and forced to give the PIN number to his debit card.

Zelaya and Chirinos went to withdraw money from the card and discovered the PIN didn’t work.

Acosta allegedly became enraged and shot Algiene in the head.

Investigators say Acosta and Ortiz decapitated the body and buried the remains in the bedroom’s foundation.

Acosta, a Mexican national was already in custody on a $1 million bond for the murders of Zelaya and Chrinos with his warrant adding that he was a flight risk.

Ortiz, Acosta’s co-defendant in the Fort Worth case, was arrested by Arlington police and charged with evading arrest after fleeing a traffic stop.

He has since remained in the custody of the Tarrant County Jail.

A grand jury indicted Sanchez-Pina in September on a lesser charge of tampering with evidence for allegedly helping to bury Zelaya’s body.

He remains held in the custody of the Tarrant County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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