Police arrest two suspects in teen's murder

August 12, 2010 12:57:43 PM PDT
Police say they've made two arrests and received confessions in the robbery and killing of a 14-year-old girl. The arrests came hours after police released the sketch of a person of interest. Houston homicide investigators say they've spent a lot of time talking with the two men, who've now been charged with capital murder. They are both expected to make an appearance in probable court this morning.

Authorities say one was arrested during a traffic stop, and the other came in on his own. They're both from Central America, and while they haven't released a legal status for either suspect, police say they're not U.S. citizens.

"She was a target of opportunity," HPD Sgt. Billy Bush said.

It's the news that 14-year-old Shatavia Anderson's grandmother, Sandra Lambert, has been waiting for since Saturday.

"I just know that God answers prayers," she said.

Anderson's family is grateful the two people investigators believe murdered the young girl are behind bars.

"I hope that they give them the highest punishment that they can give them for doing what they did to my little baby," said Christopher Jacobs, Anderson's stepfather.

Melvin Alvarado and Jonathan Lopez-Torres have been both been charged with capital murder. Police say Alvarado spotted the teen walking alone early Saturday morning, robbed her, and when she tried to run away, shot her in the back.

Lopez-Torres was the getaway driver, they say, and they both confessed.

"They don't seem remorseful, none whatsoever," Bush said.

Police received anonymous tips. An eyewitness helped put together a composite sketch they now believe resembles Alvarado.

As a memorial at the site of the crime scene in the 1100 block of Langwick grows, homicide detectives who took the murder of Shatavia personally can now get some rest.

"It's absolutely the most fulfilling thing I've ever done in my life," Bush said. "She's 14, plain and simple. Had a long talk with the family about it, so it was tough, but we've got them in custody. They're off street."

Houston police say the two men have a criminal history, but nothing violent. A quick check of Harris County court records show Alvarado has two DWI charges.

Both men are being held in jail without bond.


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