A 36-year-old man was charged Wednesday in connection with two capital murders involving female victims, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office said.
Jose Baldomero Flores III was arrested at his home for the Feb. 21, 2005, slaying of Heather Willms (pictured below), who was found in her apartment in the 5600 block of Grissom Road in Leon Valley.
Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio said it was new evidence that closed the case after more than 11 years.
With Willms' parents by his side at a news conference, Salvaggio said that detectives had questioned Jose Baldomero Flores shortly after the slaying, but he was not arrested. After testing and retesting evidence, detectives were able to determine that Flores was the murder suspect.
"Worse yet, was that this family realized today that Mr. Flores was a friend of Heather's," Salvaggio said. "Having gone to high school with her and staying in touch with her throughout the years, and they can even remember back to a picture of him in their home. He was the last one to see her alive."
The Willms family released a statement Wednesday that read, "We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Leon Valley Police Department and the Texas Rangers for their relentless efforts to investigate our daughter Heather Ann Willms' murder. We also thank the San Antonio Police Department for working together with the Leon Valley Police Department and the Texas Rangers to ensure the arrest of Heather's murderer so no other family has to suffer through their child's death as we have."
Despite the arrest, Salvaggio said it will take a while to forget about the case.
"We're not there for closure yet," Salvaggio said. "My officers are not there and the family is not there. And I'll tell you like I told the family earlier. As a father of young daughters, I don't know if I could ever get there under the circumstances. All we can hope for and pray for is justice in her name."
Flores is also accused of killing Esmeralda Herrera on March 2, 2011. The DA's Office said that Flores set Herrera's apartment on fire.
The suspect was arrested in 2011 for Herrera's slaying, but the case was rejected by the DA's Office for further investigation.
The case was reopened in 2015, which led to Flores' arrest.
Flores is charged with two counts of capital murder and one charge of arson.
If found guilty in a trial, he faces punishment of death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole.