Update: Scurry County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that the two arrested for tampering with evidence in this case bonded out of jail on Monday.
Two people were arrested in Snyder, accused of tampering with evidence in a case involving the deaths of two men. Snyder Police said those two men were found killed, their bodies stabbed, possibly wounded by gunfire, and hidden underneath a trailer home on Sunday.
Officials became aware of the case on Sunday at 8:55 a.m., Snyder Police said they responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked on the side of the road near the 2000 block of Avenue Z. Officers located a vehicle parked with the engine running.
Shortly after that, at 9:13 a.m., Snyder Police said a female and male came into the Law Enforcement Center, reporting two people had broken into their house on the 2100 block of Avenue Z. According to a press release from Snyder Police, “The female reported that at about 4:00 a.m., 2 people had broken into their house located in the 2100 Block of Avenue Z and an assault had taken place at that location and two male subjects had been killed.”
Officers then found the bodies at 2111 Avenue Z, a block away from where the earlier suspicious vehicle had been parked. As of Monday afternoon, Snyder Police Chief Terry Luecke said the investigation shows it’s likely the deceased men were using that suspicious vehicle.
“Everything is consistent with the evidence we are finding, leading to the fact that the deceased did break into that home,” Leucke explained.
But there are still many details officials are trying to piece together. Texas Rangers are assisting Snyder Police in this investigation, as is the Scurry County Sheriff’s Office.
Luecke added that thanks to identifiable tattoos and information from involved parties, officers believe they know the identity of the victims, but are waiting until an autopsy report on the bodies is completed in Lubbock on Tuesday. He said that the two men did not have any identification on them when their bodies where found.
Snyder Police have arrested 28 year old Nicole Dabney and 24 year old Juan Barron, charged with tampering with evidence in connection with this investigation.
“Part of [those charges][ was the moving of the bodies and the concealing of those bodies. And there were some other things that had been tampered with that led to that charge,” Luecke said.
Snyder police confirmed that while Juan Barron is listed as a resident of Phoenix, AZ, he had been living at the residence on Avenue Z.
Dabney and Barron could face additional charges. Once the investigation on their case wraps up, it will be forwarded to the Scurry County District Attorney, Luecke said.
Officials are also unsure of why Dabney and Barron waited hours to report the event, or why the evidence was tampered with.
“We’re not exactly sure why they altered evidence at the scene, but it could have been out of not knowing what to do,” Luecke added.
Neighbors have also been wondering why these two men were killed.
Oil rig welder, Anthony Arispe, lives next door to the home where the bodies were found. He said that at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, his wife heard yelling and gunshot noises, but wasn’t sure where the sounds were coming from.
In the morning, Arispe awoke to go to church, but couldn’t leave because his street was blocked off for the police investigation. He saw family members of the residents there speaking to police and realized something was wrong.
“It surprised the heck out of me,” Arispe said.
Arispe believed that the two individuals living next door to him were a couple who started renting the place a few months ago. Arispe has lived on that street for thirty years and had never seen a crime of this magnitude.
The officers on scene didn’t share any information with Arispe outside of asking him to file a police report. But Arispe watched while the officers worked.
“Several officers showed up, DPS showed up, they started walking around the house,” Arispe explained. “One of the officers, they had the underpinning in the back of the house where they could see underneath with the light of the flashlight, and that’s where they found the bodies underneath.”
Arispe added that officers had to break down the underpinning to pull out the bodies.
Chief Luecke added that officers believe the break-in wasn’t an accident.
“There’s a lot of circumstances to this case, as far as where it happened and that kind of thing, it’s not just a random act of someone trying to invade into people’s homes,” Luecke said. Currently, his officers believe this break-in was a targeted attack.
“Snyder is a safe place, we know who all the parties are who are involved, and we’re investigating all that to have it cleared up. Hopefully we don’t have any recurrences,” Luecke said. He said the last homicide in Snyder happened in June of 2014.
Luecke added that officers are also investigating the possibility that whoever killed the two men may have done so out of self defense.
Luecke expects to release more information on the victims’ identities in the coming days, and people like Arispe will be waiting to find out more.
In the meantime, Arispe plans on fencing off his home and taking other measures to make it more secure.
He said that the broken streetlight on his avenue certainly doesn’t help to stop neighborhood crime.
Arispe moved to Snyder in the 80’s to follow a career in oil. But he believes that a decline in jobs and an increase of drugs in the area has led to more crimes like Sunday’s homicides.
“Just pray for the couple, pray for the families that have lost their loved ones and hope they get to the bottom of this,” Arispe said.