ROSENBERG, Texas (KTRK) --He disappeared for nearly six months after being labeled a "person of interest" in the murder of a Rosenberg woman. Now Valentine Gonzalez, Jr. is in custody at the Fort Bend County jail after being located in Mexico.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Man arrested for murder of Rosenberg woman months after her death
"It ain't had nothing to do with that murder case. I already had plans to go to Mexico way before that even occurred," said Gonzalez, who spoke only to Eyewitness News.
Gonzalez insists he was not in hiding.
"I ain't trying to hide. If I was trying to hide I wouldn't have stopped (t)here. I would have kept on going deeper into Mexico," he said.
Gonzales is accused of the murder of 32-year-old Nancy Dean. She was found dead after a fire at her Rosenberg home in the 5100 block of Cotter Lane Sept. 3. At the time, police called the fire suspicious. Detectives identified Gonzalez, a convicted sex offender, living just a few doors away. At the time, they labeled him as a person of interest. "They like, we can't find nobody else. We'll just pin it on him," Gonzalez said.
Police have since identified Gonzalez as a suspect in Dean's murder. He admits mowing her yard the day she died. He says he was alone with her even when she took him to get gas for his lawn mower. He even claims she invited him inside her home at one point for some tea or water. But he insists he left by 6:30 that night and that when he did, she was perfectly fine.
"If they want to give me a polygraph test, I take one anytime. I ain't got nothing to hide," he reiterated.
Authorities only spotted Gonzalez this week, arresting him he says, in Matamoros, bringing him back to Fort Bend County to be tried for Dean's murder. He insists he's cooperated with investigators - even giving them a DNA sample so he could potentially be ruled out as a suspect.
Rosenberg police have refused to further elaborate on any evidence against Gonzalez.
Dean's family has declined to comment since the arrest.