Texas 19-year-old admits strangling pregnant sister he said was ‘embarrassment to family’

A 19-year-old Texas man has confessed to killing his pregnant sister and hiding her body -- trying to fake her suicide -- because of the “embarrassment” he thought her mental health issues inflicted on their family, police said.

Eduardo Arevalo is charged with capital murder in the death of 23-year-old Viridiana "Viri" Arevalo, according to police in the Colony, a suburb of Dallas. The capital murder charge stems from the fact that Viridiana Arevalo was eight months pregnant when she was slain.

CBS Dallas Fort-Worth reported that Viri Arevalo's unborn child was a girl.

Eduardo Arevalo is also charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, the Dallas Morning News reported. Additional charges could be forthcoming, according to police officials.

“The only reason he gave for killing her was that she was an embarrassment to their family, and he stated that it would be better off that she wasn’t here,” the Colony police Sgt. Aaron Woodard said during a Dec. 23 news conference announcing Eduardo Arevalo’s arrest.

The Colony police officials on Dec. 18 requested the public's help finding Viri Arevalo, who was last seen two days earlier at the home she shared with her parents and several of her five siblings, including Eduardo Arevalo.

"At that time, the missing person had made some statements about harming herself because of some personal issues," a police statement said. "The family member who was with her went to sleep and woke up to find her missing. Because of the missing person's past, it is believed that she could be in danger if not found immediately."

The family member mentioned in the statement was later identified as Eduardo Arevalo. The two siblings were reportedly alone in the home when the homicide took place.

Viri Arevalo was reported missing Dec. 17 by her boyfriend, who police officials said was the father of her child.

Woodard said a purported suicide note was found in the family's home. The siblings' oldest brother, Diego Arevalo, told the CBS affiliate that his sister had suffered from depression in the past but that she had been doing better.

The search for the expectant mother came to a tragic end around 7:43 a.m. Dec. 22, when a 911 caller reported finding a woman lying in an alley in the 5200 block of Strickland Avenue, police said. Officers and fire medics who responded to the scene, which was less than a mile from the Arevalo home, confirmed the woman, later identified as Viri Arevalo, was dead.

Police officials said evidence gathered during the search for Viri Arevalo, as well as evidence found at the crime scene, pointed in the direction of her younger brother. Video evidence from cameras in the vicinity also helped build a case.

Eduardo Arevalo was brought in for questioning.

"Eduardo confessed to detectives that he killed Viridiana on Monday, Dec. 16 because of family conflict," the police news release said. "Eduardo stated that he killed Viridiana in the home, then placed her body in his vehicle and transported her to an area outside of The Colony where the body would not be discovered."

Police officials said he returned to the burial site, located about an hour from the family’s home, three days before Christmas and retrieved his sister’s body.

"As the week went on, Eduardo stated that he wanted his family to know where Viri was at so he went and picked up her body and brought her back Sunday morning in the early morning hours and dumped her body in the alleyway," Woodard said, according to KDFW-TV.

A probable cause affidavit in the case states that Eduardo Arevalo stopped at Whataburger for food on the way home from dumping his sister’s remains in the alley.

Credit: Google/Google Maps

Credit: Google/Google Maps

When questioned, Eduardo Arevalo admitted to detectives that he killed his sister, stating that he “needed to protect his family and protect the unborn child from its mother,” the affidavit says.

The document, which was obtained by multiple media agencies, details what Eduardo Arevalo said took place the day his sister was slain. He told investigators he had returned from taking his brothers to school when he and Viri Arevalo got into an argument.

He said he went to his bedroom and tried to go back to sleep, but began thinking, “Maybe it’s the time to murder her,” the affidavit says.

Eduardo Arevalo returned to the living room, where his sister was sitting on the couch watching television. He approached her from behind.

“The defendant then strangled her by placing his right arm around her neck and squeezing until the victim stopped breathing,” the affidavit says. “The defendant then wrapped her head in black duct tape because he was afraid that she might come back to life.”

Credit: Google/Google Maps

Credit: Google/Google Maps

Eduardo Arevalo told detectives he backed his vehicle into the garage and closed the door before loading his sister’s body into the trunk, according to the document. He then pulled the car into the driveway before going back inside and cleaning the alleged crime scene.

He threw evidence of the killing away in an outside trash can and then left with his sister’s body to bury it at the initial dump site near Whitewright, located in Fannin County.

"Detectives are working leads to try to locate the area in question," police officials said in a statement.

Woodard said last week that Eduardo Arevalo also confessed that the suicide note found in the family’s home was faked.

“He later confessed to having written the note and the information we have is that it was implied she wrote the note,” Woodard said.

Diego Arevalo defended his younger brother to CBS DFW, saying he can't believe the teen could have killed their only sister.

"I know my brother, he wouldn't do something like this," Diego Arevalo told the news station. "He's very kind, very positive kind of guy, very motivated. He helped my family out, he helped my brothers, he even helped my sister out."

Watch Diego Arevalo’s interview with CBS DFW below. 

The grieving brother said his entire family is devastated by the loss, particularly their parents.

“Seeing my parents sad and emotional really breaks my heart,” Diego Arevalo said.

Viri Arevalo was looking forward to being a mother, particularly of a little girl, he said.

"She was excited," Diego Arevalo told CBS DFW. "She always wanted a sister.

“She was the only sister in the family. She wanted a little sister but it never happened.”

The remaining Arevalo siblings and Viri Arevalo’s boyfriend have been cleared of suspicion in the case, Woodard said.

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