A Texas teen was reported missing last week, but now police say a body found buried and burned in Liberty County is believed to be the boy.
After a joint investigation between the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers, officers located a burn pile between the two houses on a property where human remains were found, according to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and reported by 12 News.
Police say the 23-year-old Cade Cates lived on the property and he was the half-brother of the missing 16-year-old.
Deputies received a call on March 20 at 12:52 p.m. from a family member of a missing juvenile, police said. The family member alleged that the juvenile was killed and buried in Liberty County on Cates’ property.
Police went to the property and conducted a preliminary search near the five-acre plot of land. However, police said they were prevented from searching other areas until the search warrant was issued.
Officers moved forward with the investigation on Tuesday, according to authorities. The joint investigation located a burn pile near the residence of Cates, where human remains were found.
Police said Cates was initially arrested on a robbery warrant not associated with this murder case. After finding the remains, authorities brought in Randy Salinas, 26, and both men were interviewed, police said.
Officers had enough evidence to warrant a charge of murder on both Salinas and Cates, so they were arrested and placed in jail, police said.
A third suspect, Kathryn Alexander, 19, who is Cates’ girlfriend, has also been charged, police said. Authorities said she was present at the time of the murder and helped Cates and Salinas dispose of the body of their victim.
Alexander, Cates and Salinas were all charged with murder, police said.
There is no clear motive for the murder, authorities said. An autopsy was ordered, but no positive identification can be made of the human remains until the completion of DNA testing and the results of the autopsy. The process could take weeks or months, authorities said.