A man suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Texas took his own life after being spotted at a memorial dedicated to her. Juan Carlos Mata, 20, had been on the run from the police since allegedly shooting 19-year-old Lesley Reyes outside her Pasadena apartment on Monday. Authorities received a call about a suspicious person near the makeshift memorial at the crime scene, leading to a confrontation with Mata. He evaded arrest one last time by retrieving a shotgun from behind a car and committing suicide in front of an officer.
Juan Carlos Mata, the sole suspect in the murder of Lesley Reyes, was found dead at the scene of her memorial. The police had been searching for Mata since the fatal shooting occurred outside the Oakwood Village Apartments. Witnesses reported seeing the couple arguing before gunshots rang out. Mata picked up Reyes’ phone and repeatedly apologized to her mother before Reyes’ parents discovered their daughter’s lifeless body on the street. Mata initially stayed at the scene but disappeared when officers realized Reyes had been killed.
According to Reyes’ family, Mata had become obsessed with her and their relationship had been abusive and toxic. Despite Reyes breaking up with him, Mata refused to accept the end of their relationship. In the month leading up to the murder, he would frequently text her and show up uninvited at her home. Reyes’ sister, Lourdes Martinez, revealed that Mata was possessive and couldn’t bear the thought of her being with someone else. The family believes that Mata’s actions not only took away their beloved sister but also deeply affected their community.
Pasadena Sgt. Raul Granados stated that there had been no documented instances of domestic violence between Mata and Reyes, apart from a disturbance about a year ago. However, Mata had been persistently trying to contact Reyes, while she was actively trying to distance herself from him. The police believe that Mata remained in the area after the murder but had discarded his phone, making it challenging for investigators to track him down.
Lesley Reyes, just 19 years old, had her whole life ahead of her. Her family and community are devastated by her untimely death. The murder-suicide has left a lasting impact on those who knew her, and they are left grappling with the senseless violence that took her away.