Man Arrested in Cold Case Murders in Leon Valley, San Antonio

More than ten years after a brutal murder–police in Leon Valley said they finally have their man.

“We really thought in our hearts at the time–we brought him in once before… it was him” Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio said Wednesday Morning following the arrest of Jose Flores III, who was described as a high school friend of Willms. He is charged with capital murder in the death of 21-year old Heather Willms.

Flores has also been charged with capital murder in the death of Esmerelda Herrera in 2011. She was found dead inside her burning apartment on General Ent Court in San Antonio in March of 2011. Flores was released after being arrested in that case–which was given a fresh look last year.

Salvaggio said it took some time–and nearly eleven years of police work–to finally make the case in Leon Valley stick.

“Through new testing, we were able to find exactly what we were looking for–and actually bring that to the D.A.’s Office” Salvaggio said, adding “Nobody gave up, that was the key.”

Willms was found dead inside of her apartment on Grissom Road in February of 2005.

“For a family… I told the Willms family this morning I don’t know how your standing upright” Salvaggio said, pointing to their long road to justice for their murdered daughter.

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