More than three years after a passerby found a dead woman under a tarp with multiple stab wounds and a plastic bag wrapped around her head, her suspected killer was taken into custody Monday, according to Bexar County Jail records.
Hashim Hashim, 66, was charged with murder after police accused him of fatally stabbing Ruth Valdez, his 49-year-old girlfriend, on Feb. 17, 2016.
Valdez wasn’t identified until March, when her daughters reported her missing to police.
Police began closing in on Hashim because of a bloody H-E-B receipt found in the bag wrapped around Valdez’s face, according to the arrest affidavit. The receipt was dated February 16, 2016, the day before Valdez was found dead.
The receipt led investigators to the H-E-B located at 11551 West Avenue, less than two miles from where Valdez was found dead.
Investigators found surveillance footage of Valdez buying cough medicine there with a man.
In March 2016, Crime Stoppers released images of the man in hopes of identifying him.
That month, Valdez’s daughters told police that she was dating Hashim.
Investigators tracked Hashim down and brought him in for an interview, according to the arrest affidavit.
Hashim told investigators through a translator that he is a refugee who fled from Iraq.
Hashim identified himself as the man in the surveillance images with Valdez. He told police he dropped her off at the bus stop on Wurzbach and I-10 after they had sex, according to the arrest affidavit.
The medical examiner found bite marks on Valdez’s body. When police asked Hashim if he bit Valdez, he said he couldn’t remember, according to the affidavit.
Hashim consented to a DNA swab and allowed police to search his car, according to the affidavit. But the car was recently cleaned, police discovered.
“It appeared if any evidence was inside the vehicle, it had been destroyed or removed by cleaning agents,” investigators wrote in the arrest affidavit.
Police asked Hashim for the clothes he wore when he was last seen with Valdez, but Hashim couldn’t find them, according to the affidavit.
“To this day, Hashim Hashim’s clothes have never been recovered,” investigators wrote.
In December 2016, police received a report that indicated Hashim’s DNA was found on Valdez’s body and clothes, according to the affidavit.
Hashim eventually moved to Buffalo, where he was arrested for family violence. In that case, Hashim got into an argument with his new girlfriend and caused serious bodily injuries, according to the affidavit.
Hashim moved again to Pittsburgh while San Antoino police continued investigating the murder case.
In January 2019, a San Antonio police detective flew to Pittsburgh to interview Hashim with the help of FBI translators.
Hashim told police he had memory loss due to a back injury and could not recall specific details about the case. When he was asked if he was lying, he said, “Yes I lie, but not about this.”
Hashim’s bail was set at $200,000, jail records show. His mugshot was not made available Tuesday.