21-year-old's body found buried 1 year after going missing

TODD MISSION, Texas (KTRK) -- Exactly one year to the day after a 21-year-old college student from Katy was reported missing, authorities on Tuesday located the young man's remains buried on property in Grimes County.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said its homicide investigators, Texas Rangers and deputies in Grimes County were led to the body of Zuhyr Kaleem along Loblolly Lane near Todd Mission, which is about an hour northwest of Houston. The scene is also about 4.5 miles from the popular Renaissance Fest fairgrounds. SkyEye was over the property late Tuesday morning as investigators looked around the wooded and grassy area.

Kaleem's family told ABC13 he was last seen alive on April 26, 2019, near Greenhouse Road and FM 529. His family reported him missing a couple of days later. He was a Lone Star College student who had hoped to attend the University of Houston.

"It's just like - what happened really, though?" his father Kaleem Ahmed asked at that time. "We know where he's going to: a friend, where he's going to eat, where he's going to visit a place. It's just unusual for him to be gone that long."

It wasn't until this past weekend that the first arrests were made in the case. Two men - Jose Varela and Austin Walker, both 21 - were charged with capital murder. HCSO said both admitted to their involvement in Kaleem's killing.

On Tuesday, Eric Aguilar, 22, was also charged with capital murder and Gannon Gotlieb, 23, was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence/human body. According to the sheriff's office, he lives on the property where the body was found and admitted to burying it.

According to court records, Kaleem was shot to death during a robbery. HCSO said investigators developed evidence that he was killed during the course of a drug deal in Harris County and that his body was dumped somewhere.

Gotlieb is being held in the Grimes County jail.

In Harris County, prosecutors are asking a judge to deny bond for Varela, Walker and Aguilar due to the gravity of their charges.

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