ICE: Undocumented Immigrants Who Have Info on Josue Flores's Killer Will Receive Visas

On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee brought together what seemed like every law enforcement agency under the sun to further urge the public to bring forward any relevant information it may have that will lead to the arrest of the person who killed Josue Flores two weeks ago.

The reward for providing that information has now been increased to $45,000, money that's coming from the FBI and Houston Crime Stoppers. In addition, Sean McElroy with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that undocumented immigrants will be provided special visas if they were witnesses to the crime and can provide information that will help law enforcement track down the killer. Their immediate families will also be protected, he said.

Rania Mankarious, executive director of Houston Crime Stoppers, directly addressed anyone who knows something: “If the thoughts of the last minutes of this young boy's life is not enough to get you to talk,” she said, “then let the grand total of $45,000 plus 100 percent anonymity [be enough],” she said. “This young boy's life deserves this phone call. This family deserves this phone call. This community deserves this phone call.”

Flores was fatally stabbed more than a dozen times on his way home from a science club fiesta at Marshall Middle School around 4:45 p.m. May 17. No motive has ever been identified, and his family had said that Flores wasn't carrying anything valuable in his backpack either. It's a crime that has brought hundreds of people out of their homes to both remember Flores and to condemn the killer, demanding justice, and one that Mayor Sylvester Turner said “goes right to the heart and soul of this city.” A week after Flores's death, Turner made his own personal plea that whoever knows something come forward.

“This family has been a remarkable family,” Jackson Lee said of Flores's loved ones. “They've taught us in our pain to be compassionate and to be strong. All of us are standing here in this room with a bit of pain, none as far-reaching as theirs, but an understanding of what they are going through. We came together today very seriously to emphasize to the broader community: There are no borders around the north side.”

None of the officials present at Jackson Lee's press conference, including a lieutenant with the Houston Police Department, would provide any details to the press about developments in the investigation. Last week, a woman called police when she spotted a pocket knife in a storm drain at the corner of North Main and Henry, several blocks from the site where Flores was murdered, at Fulton and James; though it has been sent to the lab, officials haven't released any test results or even said whether blood was found on the knife.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn