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The nephew of a pair of siblings admitted to killing his aunt and uncle who have been missing since August, Houston police said.
Dina Escobar, 60, and her brother Rogelio “Roy” Escobar, 65, were reported missing in late August, only a few days after the family say Dina went to look for her brother at his Houston home on Prudence Drive.
Their nephew – 47-year-old Ramon Alberto Escobar –was initially interviewed by Houston homicide detectives in connection with the siblings’ disappearance but denied any involvement.
Roy Escobar was last seen Aug. 26 at his home on Prudence Drive in southwest Houston. His sister, Dina Escobar, went missing Aug. 28, only after she started her own search for her brother, according to Houston police.
The siblings were both reported missing on Aug. 28. Family members told police that Ramon Escobar was the last person to see either of them alive on those days, according to court documents.
A Houston police officer investigating the siblings’ disappearance interviewed Ramon Escobar on Aug. 30 inside the home on Prudence Drive. The officer saw scratch marks on his throat, which he couldn’t recall getting there. He later told homicide detectives he might have done it to himself.
During the interview, Ramon Escobar told the officer that he had only been at the home on Prudence Drive and in the area of the Southwest Freeway near Westpark Drive on both Aug. 26 and 28.
The officer asked to look through his phone, which Ramon Escobar allowed.
Location data stored on the Google Maps app on Ramon Escobar’s phone corroborated his initial statements – but the officer also saw that the phone recorded location data in Galveston in the early morning hours of Aug. 30.
Ramon Escobar told the officer that he was in fact in Galveston around that morning.
During an interview downtown with homicide detectives later that day, Ramon Escobar denied being the last person to see either his aunt or uncle, instead claiming he only saw his uncle on Aug. 24. He also denied seeing his aunt on Aug. 28.
After leaving HPD’s downtown headquarters Aug. 30, Ramon Escobar fled out of state to Santa Monica, California, according to court documents.
While he was in California, Los Angeles police officers implicated him in the murders of four homeless men, the attempted murders of eight others and several robberies between Sept. 8 and 24.
In those cases, homicide detectives said Ramon Escobar showed a pattern of “homicidal blunt force activities.”
Los Angeles police homicide detectives arrested Ramon Escobar on Sept. 24. While in jail, he allegedly told jailers that he in fact killed both Dina and Roy Escobar in late August.
During a taped interview with Los Angeles detectives, he told them he was planning on killing Dina Escobar and her son because he “could not stand either of them nor the disrespect,” according to court documents.
He tried stalking Dina Escobar’s son, according to court documents, but was unable to find an opportunity to kill him, he told detectives.
Frustrated that he could not murder his cousin, he instead turned to Roy Escobar, detectives said. He told police he liked his uncle more than his aunt or cousin, but he felt sorry for Roy Escobar’s “living conditions” and said his uncle had also disrespected him in some way.
Ramon Escobar told detectives that on the night of Aug. 26, he waited for everyone inside the Prudence Drive house to go to sleep before waking his uncle and asking for a cigarette.
While his uncle was distracted, Ramon Escobar allegedly beat his uncle over the head with an old police baton he had found.
After the beating, he wrapped Roy Escobar’s body up in a plastic bag and dumped his body in a dumpster behind a warehouse on Skyline Drive in southwest Houston – which is near the intersection of the Southwest Freeway and Westpark Drive, according to court documents.
He told police that he thought his uncle was still breathing as he placed him in the dumpster.
Two days later, Ramon Escobar’s aunt Dian Escobar showed up to the Prudence Drive house to look for her missing brother to no avail. As she searched room-by-room, hoping to find Roy, Ramon Escobar told detectives that was the moment he decided to kill her, according to court documents.
As she was inside the home, Ramon Escobar snuck into to her van and hid under some clothes in the back seat, according to court documents.
When Dina Escobar couldn’t find her brother inside the Prudence Drive home, she walked back out to her van and started to drive to other places where Roy Escobar might be – including a trailer park in the 3500 block of Darlinghurst Drive just a few blocks away.
Ramon Escobar said that just as she stopped inside the trailer park, he attacked her from behind, attempting to strangle her, according to court documents. She was able to get out of his grasp, he told detectives, so he hit her with the same police baton.
The two struggled inside the van, and Dina Escobar wound up on the floorboard, according to court documents. Ramon Escobar told detectives that he then placed his knee on his aunt’s chest, using his body weight to suffocate her until she was dead.
Much like her brother, he wrapped her body in a plastic bag and dumped it in a dumpster behind a warehouse – this time near Broadway Street near South Loop 610 in southeast Houston, he said.
He hid the van on a street near the Prudence Drive house before ultimately driving it to Galveston and torching it, he told police. Officials found the van burning along the beach in the early morning hours of Aug. 30.
Because of the time between the siblings’ murders and the learning of where their bodies were stashed, Houston homicide detectives believe their bodies are in an unknown landfill “unlikely to be recovered.”
He is due back in a Los Angeles court for the pending murder charges just after the new year. He is eligible for the death penalty in that state, according to prosecutors.
It is unclear when he will be extradited to Texas to answer for the recent capital murder charge.
Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan | Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message