Details emerge about evidence that led to Roma murder suspects

Cristobal Vasquez and Romeo Alberto Ibanez

Hours after Roma police found the lifeless body of a 42-year-old man, a report of fire and smoke would lead investigators to two suspects who were eventually arrested and charged with murder.

Police there accuse Romeo Alberto Ibanez, who was born in 1971, and Cristobal Vasquez, 36, of committing the Nov. 8 murder of Noe Manuel Ramirez, whose body was found on the corner of Hibsicus Street in Roma at approximately 6:30 a.m.

A probable cause affidavit reveals police recovered video evidence that showed a maroon Ram dually pickup truck with “apparent logos” on the backside and a large square-shaped water tank in its bed dumping Ramirez’s body on the street.

A few hours later, at 11 a.m., the fire department was dispatched to 337 Bass Street for a report of fire and smoke within the city limits, authorities said.

“A Roma Police Officer arrived at the location and quickly determined that one of the vehicles matched the description in the video used in the disposal of the body,” the affidavit stated.

Police identified the owner of the residence as Ibanez, who gave police verbal permission to take a closer look at the fire and the vehicle, according to the charging document.

“Upon a closer view of the vehicle, the Affiant was able to see and confirm that the seats were removed and a visible liquid substance was in the front passenger area that looked like blood,” the affidavit stated.

Police also found what appeared to be a cinder block horse stable, where the vehicle’s seats were being burned, the charging document continued.

Police then requested assistance from the Texas Rangers, who arrived and assisted with processing the scene and gathering evidence after authorities obtained a search warrant.

“Affiant conducted interviews of persons that were identified and determined to have been at the location or residence on the hours before and after the murder took place. Based on these statements, the Affiant concludes and identifies two suspects as taking part in the murder of the victim to be Romeo Ibanez and Cristobal Vasquez,” the affidavit stated.

Both men remain jailed as of Wednesday, records show.