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Update on Incident at 712 E. Tidwell

May 19, 2006 -- Charges of murder are pending against a suspect originally charged with the aggravated assault of a man at 712 E. Tidwell on Saturday, October 15, 2005.

The suspect, Jose Israel Benitez, a.k.a."Israel" (H/m, DOB: 1-28-71), charged with aggravated assault in the 262nd State District Court, is now facing charges of murder. He is accused in the shooting of Nelson Velasquez, 50, of 13905 Bonnercrest. Click here for a photo of the suspect (pdf file.) He is not in custody.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant C.E. Elliott and Officers J. Sosa and M. Cruz reported:

A witness led investigators to the backyard of a residence at 24555 Kerry Street in Waller County. With the assistance of a Harris County Sheriff's deputy, a Waller County Sheriff's deputy and a Texas Ranger, the body of the victim was found buried at this location.

Jose Velasquez left home on the morning of October 15, 2005, driving a 1987 Toyota station wagon, enroute to his job site. His family has not heard from him since. A missing person's report was filed with the Houston Police Department on October 16, 2005.

Investigators learned Jose Benitez shot Mr. Velasquez in the head and put his body into a red Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck and drive away. A witness has positively identified Benitez as the shooter.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of suspect Jose Benitez is asked to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Updated: MES/JFC 5-19-06
NJM/MES 10/20/05
Inc #157325905

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.