2 charged in connection with death of human trafficking victim in Fort Bend County

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Two men have been charged with the death of a man who was reportedly trying to escape a human trafficking situation.

On Feb. 9, at about 12:43 p.m., the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office got a call about a shooting along Howell Road and Old Richmond Road. A man later identified as 24-year-old Marlon Urias-Zelaya of El Salvador was found dead.

Through the investigation, it was learned Urias-Zelaya was a victim of human trafficking, authorities say. He attempted to escape from the suspects when he was shot and killed.

Clifton Brookshire, 34, was arrested and charged with murder. Ernie Romero, 32, was arrested and charged with smuggling of persons.

This type of crime isn't always easy to spot. It's usually hidden until the public goes with their gut feeling and calls in what they see.

"If anybody sees anything out there, that is suspicious or out of the norm, it's important to contact your police department, your law enforcement, because sometimes the smallest thing can actually mean something," Captain Dalia Simons with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said.

We know that other people were being held captive in addition to Urias-Zelaya, although we don't know how many. Officials say in cases like this, the bad guys get people into the U.S. in hopes of a better life, then hold them until a family member pays for their release.

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