H-E-B receipt could be key to murders of 2 men in TC Jester home, 1 suspect detained

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Friday, March 17, 2023
H-E-B receipt may be key to murders in The Heights area
A woman has been charged for her alleged role in cleaning up the murders of Dana Ryssdal and James Martin in the Heights in January, according to documents.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An H-E-B receipt appears to be the key to solving the case of two men murdered in the Heights area in January.

Kathy Vu was recently arrested and charged with tampering and fabricating physical evidence in the murders of Dana Ryssdal and James Martin III. Charging documents state she concealed a firearm and "blood evidence" in connection with the crime scene.

Houston police were called to the 1700 block of West TC Jester on Friday, Jan. 27, about a neighbor being concerned that a Toyota Prius was running inside a garage at about 8:30 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Man found shot to death in Houston home was visiting from Oregon, police say

Ryssdal, 35, was found dead at the home, while 37-year-old Martin was reported missing along with a white Dodge Ram truck that belonged to Ryssdal.

Three days later, on Jan. 30, that truck was found in southeast Houston, but Martin was not located. It wasn't until Feb. 1 that Martin's body was found in the trunk of the Prius at an HPD impound lot, where it was towed to for evidence processing. Police said Martin's body was bound with duct tape and had been shot multiple times.

According to documents, the motive behind the murder appears to be drug-related, as police reported finding "marijuana in various places throughout the residence," and bundles of cash totaling $35,980 found in the freezer.

New documents state that during an interview with Vu, she admitted to being in a relationship with one of the suspects in the killings - but he is not being named as it's not clear he's been charged yet. She also added that Martin had a history of threatening a lot of people, including her boyfriend, "if anything because people don't want to pay him back ... if anything were to have happened, it would definitely have been self-defense," she told authorities.

She also added that Martin owed her boyfriend $40,000 "after a narcotics-related transaction did not go as planned."

SEE ALSO: Docs reveal marijuana and $35k in cash were found inside home where 2 men were killed on TC Jester

Vu said that on the night of the murders, she had a work-related dinner planned and wanted her boyfriend to go with her, but he did not attend "because emergencies happened." She denied having any knowledge about what happened between her boyfriend and Martin.

Police said they found bleach and iodine bottles in Vu's car. An H-E-B receipt from the day of the murders shows she bought towels, trash bags, and other similar items, which police said were used to clean up the crime.

According to authorities, there's a third suspect wanted in connection with the killings - but his charges are not available.

Vu is due in probable cause court Thursday night.