Sheriff: Injured man faces murder charge

A 25-year-old man with self-inflicted lacerations is facing a possible murder charge after officials discovered a body close to where the injured man was found, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said.

Jesus Ruben Vela Jr. of Brownsville was found Tuesday afternoon near Olmito after a sheriff’s deputy discovered his vehicle abandoned and splattered with blood. The discovery led to a 24- hour search for Vela, near the 26700 block of Rice Tract Road near FM 1577. The area is a heavily wooded neighborhood consisting of large properties, each separated by acres of land and irrigation canals.

While being treated for his self-inflicted injuries, Vela “stated that he had committed a possible homicide and that he had buried the body in the backyard,” Lucio said at a Wednesday press conference at the sheriff’s department.

Shortly after Vela was transported to a nearby hospital, authorities discovered the body of Victor Loo, 25, of Matamoros , in a shallow grave covered with brush. The body was found in a canal in the backyard of Vela’s father’s property located off Guelker Road .

Although Vela also claimed to have beaten the man with a bat, authorities found no evidence of such an occurrence on the scene and await autopsy results. Lucio’s office on Wednesday was in the process of getting a search warrant to search the elder Vela’s home.

A motive for the killing is unclear, authorities said. However, the sheriff said the younger Vela told his father that Loo was a cartel member. Vela’s father insisted his son turn himself in, Lucio said.

Whether Loo was a member of the cartel, Lucio said, “We don’t even know if he did or not (belong to a cartel.)”

Vela is expected to undergo two surgeries, authorities said.

After he is released from the hospital, Vela will be charged with Loo’s death, Lucio said.