Federal investigators are stepping in to find a respected freelance journalist’s killer after he was found slain at a vacant home in Texas.
Two weeks into the homicide investigation, the FBI and Secret Service joined Garland police with hopes of identifying the suspect responsible for killing Jacinto Torres Hernandez.
“We haven’t been able to bury my dad,” the victim’s son Gibran Torres told KDFW-TV. “We’re kind of still hung up and preoccupied on getting him back to his family and putting him at rest.”
His father, the 57-year-old writer and photographer, was better known for his immigration beat under the byline Jay Torres.
He was shot dead and found days later on June 13 in the backyard of a home he had considered buying as part of his home flipping venture.
The mysterious killing sparked fears the journalist’s death was inspired by his work with the Star-Telegram’s La Estrella, a weekly Spanish-language publication, and most recently, his daughter says, a human trafficking scoop.
His adult children believe someone was following his daughter, Aline Torres, who recalled her father’s recent work shortly after his death.
“More recently his work was more intense, riskier,” his Torres’ daughter, Aline, at a press conference. “He was lifting up stones that perhaps people did not want to have lifted.”
Investigators are poring over Torres’ emails, phone logs and reporter notebooks scrawled with notes in Spanish that were seized from his vehicle, along with lease agreements related to his real estate business, according to Dallas-Fort Worth television station.
No suspect has been identified in his death and Garland Crime Stoppers on Monday offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his assailant, according to the Star-Telegram.
Although investigators are still determining whether his occupation was a motive in his death, robbery was unlikely because the suspect did not bother to take $1,000 in cash that was with Torres, KDFW-TV reported.
Other relatives, such as his son, Gibran, believe the property business may have been a plausible motive because of the tenants living in the home.
One person who was buying or renting a house from his father was arrested in a massive roundup of cocaine trafficking suspects, he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Garland police at 972-485-4840. People who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477.