Investigation into body found buried in northeast Harris County yard continues

The body was found buried Saturday. Police are still trying to determine if it could be a man who disappeared in Pasadena (Simon Gutierrez)
January 12, 2014 4:47:14 PM PST
Authorities spent most of Saturday digging around the property behind a home in the 5200 block of Mohawk near Percy. After more than 12 hours, they made a gruesome discovery: a man's body. Now, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding that man's death begins.

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office processed the crime scene for hours, eventually recovering the man's body, which was buried next to a chicken coop.

Sabrina Ortiz, who lives across the street, says she hadn't seen anybody at the home in about a month.

"We thought maybe they had moved, and that's when we saw that vehicle," she said.

A week or two ago, she says she saw a red or burgundy Ford Explorer parked in front of the home. She didn't see anyone drive up in it. The car just appeared one day, she said.

"We saw it up in the front in the parking lot," Ortiz said. "But we thought maybe they had left, because with those banana trees you can't see anything. So obviously they went toward the side and took it to the back."

The vehicle she saw happens to match the description of a pickup truck belonging to a southeast Houston man who was last seen on New Year's Day in Pasadena -- Jesus Leal.

Pasadena police visited the scene Saturday where the body was recovered, but they have not established a connection between the two cases.

Either way, a man is dead, a suspect is unaccounted for, and a neighborhood is a little worried.

"Because, you know, we all live in this neighborhood," Ortiz said. "A lot of people are scared because it could happen to them."

Detectives on Saturday night confirmed a partially chopped-up vehicle was also recovered at the scene, but they wouldn't say what make, model or color it was.

The medical examiner's office is working to identify the man and determine how he died.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and for updates as we continue following this developing story.

Find Simon on Facebook at ABC13SimonGutierrez or on Twitter at @sggutierrez

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