‘We’ll continue to remember Jarrod’: Family fights for justice after suspect arrested in man’s murder in Stone Oak

Malik Pryor, 27, was arrested on murder charge

SAN ANTONIO – A suspect has been arrested nearly one year after a man was found slain in an apartment complex in Stone Oak.

Now, the victim’s family is speaking out after an arrest has been made.

Malik Pryor, 27, was arrested Wednesday evening on a first-degree felony murder charge related to the killing of 39-year-old Jarrod Anthony Papen, whose body was found in Pryor’s apartment at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of Agora Palms Drive.

An arrest warrant affidavit states that Papen and Pryor were neighbors and had several heated arguments in the past, including one on May 14, 2022.

Police said Papen and his partner were at their apartment when Papen left the residence to go to his car in the parking lot. Papen’s partner told police he went to look for Papen a few minutes later because Papen didn’t return to the apartment, and he found Papen’s cigarette pack a few feet away from their front door.

Papen’s partner told police it was odd that the cigarette pack was on the ground and that he couldn’t find Papen anywhere, so he reported him missing to the San Antonio Police Department on May 15.

That same day, Pryor’s girlfriend called the police to report a body found in Pryor’s apartment.

The woman told police she and Pryor had been dating 10 years, but she moved out of the apartment recently because they had been arguing.

She went to the apartment around 4:30 p.m. on May 14 to give Pryor a ride to his father’s house, according to the affidavit. That’s when she noticed Papen, who she recognized as a neighbor, sitting on the living room floor with his back against the sofa.

The woman told police that Papen appeared to be passed out, and when she questioned Pryor why Papen was in the living room, he said, “I don’t know, he just walked in.”

Police said the woman didn’t want to start another argument, so she didn’t press the issue.

She then dropped Pryor off at his father’s house and left. The next day, on May 15, she drove back to the father’s house to get the apartment key from Pryor so she could get clothes from the apartment.

The affidavit states that the woman and her sister drove to the apartment at 6:30 p.m. When they unlocked the door and went inside, the girlfriend noticed Papen in the same position as he was 24 hours prior and knew he was deceased.

She then exited the apartment and called the police.

According to the affidavit, Papen is believed to have died between 1:30-4:30 p.m. on May 14.

An investigation revealed that Papen had blood on his clothing when he was found. A plastic bag with blood-covered items was also found at the scene.

The affidavit states that police also discovered an electrical cord with blood on it inside the apartment, and it’s believed that Pryor used the cord to kill Papen.

Police also found evidence that suggested someone tried to clean up the apartment after Papen was killed.

According to the affidavit, a pistol was also recovered at the scene.

Police believe Pryor used the pistol to force Papen into the apartment.

Papen’s body was found with blunt force trauma to the head, which police believe was caused by Pryor striking Papen with the handgun. Pryor then used the electrical cord to strangle Papen, the affidavit states.

Cell phone records indicate the girlfriend was not near the apartment when Papen was killed. She also did not have a key to the apartment at the time of the killing.

Papen’s older brother, Justin, said their family is still healing from the tragic loss of Jarrod.

“There is no such thing as closure -- it’s a myth. What we’ll do is continue grieving and coping and loving and moving forward and taking care of each other. We’ll continue to remember Jarrod Anthony Papen,” he said.

Pryor is believed to have acted alone. He is currently being held at Bexar County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

A first-degree felony is punishable by 5-99 years in prison in the state of Texas.

“We’re really looking forward to the Bexar County District Attorney having some courage and throwing the book at this animal,” Justin said.

Jarrod Anthony Papen (KSAT 12)

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.