Man arraigned in Harlingen teen’s death

Harlingen Police found the body of 15-year-old Alexandra Castillo on Bob Youker Road Sunday, May 17. Courtesy photo

A 20-year-old Rio Hondo man accused of stabbing 15-year-old Alexandra Castillo of Harlingen in May was arraigned in the case on Wednesday.

Jesus Ramirez Saldana was arrested in May following an investigation into the girl’s death.

He was arraigned on charges of murder, aggravated sexual assault of a child, and tamper/fabricate physical evidence through a waiver his attorney Ed Cyganiewicz submitted to Judge Benjamin Euresti, Jr. in the 107th state District Court.

In late May, the Harlingen Police Department Major Crimes Unit and the Texas Rangers identified Ramirez as the suspect in Castillo’s death. Police said Ramirez fled to Mexico before surrendering to authorities at the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville.

Jail records confirmed that Ramirez Saldana was booked at the Cameron County Jail on May 25. An indictment handed down by a grand jury in July stated that his bond was set at $2.5 million.

Harlingen police found Castillo’s body on May 17 on Bob Youker Road near the Harlingen Airpark.

Investigators said they found the teen lying next to the road with multiple injuries.

Authorities at the time of Ramirez Saldana’s arrest said they had not identified a motive for the murder, but that the suspect had met Castillo in Rio Hondo.

The case is currently set to go to trial on Nov. 9, though judges in Cameron County-based state district courts indicated last week that it’s unlikely jury trials will be scheduled before next year.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Rio Hondo man charged in death of teen; police ID victim