Murder case against fire chief’s son still not in hands of grand jury

Carlos Julian Contreras is escorted to his arraignment at the Hidalgo County jail in Edinburg on Jan. 16, 2020. (Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com)

The murder case against an 18-year-old man accused of gunning down a 19-year-old in a sugar cane field near Donna is currently in intake with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office.

Carlos Julian Contreras appeared in court via video-conferencing on Monday to be arraigned on a drug charge. Court records from that hearing reveal the case against Contreras has not yet been presented to a grand jury.

According to the county’s website, a case in felony intake has been submitted by the investigating agency, in this case the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, where it is reviewed to ensure the elements of a felony, in this case murder, can be met and proven before the case is presented to a grand jury.

Contreras, who is the son of the city of Alamo’s fire chief, is accused of killing Genero Isaiah “Izzy” Castillo on Jan. 14.

After his arrest, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra said Contreras admitted to picking up Castillo and driving him to Donna Lakes with a man named George, who investigators determined did not exist.

Contreras is the sole suspect, according to Guerra.

“In the immediate area of the crime scene, investigators were able to locate tire tracks, indicating a vehicle had just left the location, and multiple 40-caliber bullet casings,” Guerra said at the time. “Through the course of the investigation, investigators learned that the victim was having issues with a friend named Carlos Julian Contreras, who drove a white Ford truck.”

The sheriff also said that investigators found a napkin with blood stains as well as multiple bullet casings inside of the vehicle.

The suspect is currently free on a $200,000 bond.