Man arrested in cold case killing of decapitated, burned victim found in dumpster, SAPD says

Affidavit: Jorge Alberto Silva, 39, admitted to slaying after he was arrested for transporting immigrants

SAN ANTONIO – A suspect was arrested in connection with the 2016 decapitation of a man after he was accused of transporting immigrants earlier this month, according to San Antonio police.

Jorge Alberto Silva, 39, was charged with the murder of Javier Thomas Soto, 43, who was last seen in the Houston area on Aug. 20, 2016, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

Soto’s decapitated body was found burning in a dumpster on Goliad Road on the Southeast Side the following day, police previously said.

Crime Stoppers later released surveillance images that showed someone dumping Soto’s body at the dumpster and offered a cash reward, but the case went cold, the affidavit states.

Javier Soto.

Silva’s arrest came after DPS in Kinney County stopped a white Ford truck on April 2. Silva was the passenger in the vehicle, and troopers discovered six undocumented immigrants in the truck, the affidavit states.

Silva and the driver then openly admitted to transporting immigrants and they were arrested on charges of smuggling of persons and drug possession, investigators said.

DPS agents interviewed Silva and he admitted his involvement in Soto’s death.

The affidavit states that Silva “provided reasons for having committed the homicide and described specific details regarding the manner in which Soto was killed...”

He also gave details about the disposal of Soto’s body and said he was the person in the Crime Stoppers video, the affidavit states.

Records show he was booked into the Bexar County Jail on Monday for the murder charge.

His bond was set at $300,000.

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Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.