PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Pharr Police Department has arrested three teenagers in the murder of a man discovered in McAllen.

According to police, Thursday evening, a young relative accused 43-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla of sexual assault.

When relatives, Alejandro and Christian Treviño, heard they confronted Quintanilla at the residence, which resulted in a physical fight, police said. Quintanilla then left the residence.

Christian ran after Quintanilla and found him outside an apartment complex in Pharr. A second assault then occurred, said the release.

Police then say Alejandro and a driver of a red Dodge Charger, identified as Juan Eduardo Melendez, caught up and joined the assault towards Quintanilla.

Melendez was not related to Quintanilla but was a friend to Christian and Alejandro.

The three suspects left the complex, changed vehicles, and drove back in a white Ford F-150. Authorities say the suspects found Quintanilla walking along alone and injured.

Quintanilla was severely beaten for the third time.

According to police, Quintanilla was placed in the bed of the truck and taken to be dropped off in an open field. Officials believe he was still alive at the time he was left in the field.

Investigation revealed that Quintanilla was beaten with brass knuckles and suffered severe head trauma. 

Quintanilla was found dead in the open field Thursday at 3 p.m. by McAllen police. The department then notified Pharr police of the incident and turned over the investigation.

The three teens who were arrested were charged Sunday afternoon.

Charges are as followed:

  • Alejandro Trevino – Aggravated Assault FV and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity
  • Christian Trevino – Aggravated Assault FV and Capital Murder, Engaging In Criminal Activity
  • Juan Eduardo Melendez – Capital Murder, Aggravated Assault,  and Engaging in Criminal Activity

Bond has been set at $500,000 for all suspects.

A petition has been started to release the three suspects.

Pharr PD noted that Quintanilla was wanted for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child and Assault F/V out of Pharr, Texas.

Chief of Police, Andy Harvey, spoke of the investigation in a statement.

This investigation was complex having multiple scenes. I am proud of how our detectives were able to put the pieces together in such a short time.

Chief Andy Harvey