Tx. College Student Who Vanished 1 Year Ago Is Found Buried, and 3 Men Are Charged with Murder
One year to the day that a Texas man was reported missing, authorities found what they believe to be his body — and three men are now behind bars on murder charges.
The missing man, 21-year-old college student Zuhyr Kaleem, of Katy, was last seen on April 28, 2019, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The case was classified as a homicide last August, reports KBTX.
On Saturday two men — Jose Varela and Auston Walker, both 21 — each were arrested and made statements allegedly admitting to their role in Kaleem’s murder, according to the outlet.
Officers on Tuesday arrested a third man, Eric Aguilar, 22, and were directed to a home in nearby Grimes County, where a fourth man, Gannon Gotlieb, 23, allegedly admitted to burying Kaleem’s body on his property in the community of Todd Mission.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Pending a forensic investigation to confirm identity of the remains, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they were “believed” to be Kaleem’s.
“Our condolences go out to his family,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a news release posted to his department’s Facebook page.
His family said Kaleem was enrolled at Lone Star College with hopes to attend the University of Houston, reports KTRK.
Authorities said they believe Kaleem died during a drug deal, reports The Eagle.
Varela, Walker and Aguilar each were charged with capital murder and are being held in the Harris County jail. No bond was listed for Varela and Walker; Aguilar’s bond was set at $200,000, according to online court records.
Gotlieb stands accused of tampering with a human corpse, and is being held in the Grimes County jail. Bond information was not available.
Attorneys for the four men were not named in court records, and none has yet been required to enter a formal plea to the charges against them.
Gonzalez said: “This has been a complex investigation.”