Autopsy: Teenager found in Fabens shot self 9 times
When deputies responded to a vehicle fire about 1:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the sandy terrain and bushes of San Felipe Park in Fabens, they found the body of Christopher Morales, 19, lying in a fetal position next to a .22-caliber rifle. They also found 78 bullet holes in his burnt truck and nine bullet wounds on his body, deputies said.
Detectives immediately said there was nothing to suggest that his death was linked to drug cartel violence. Two days later, investigators at the Medical Examiner's Office agreed.
They concluded that Morales shot himself with a rifle and ruled his death a suicide on Oct. 4, according to Morales' autopsy report.
On Morales' cell phone, detectives said they found pictures he took of a fake kidnapping. They also found video footage of Morales buying a gun at Academy Sports & Outdoors. Detectives came to the conclusion Morales planned his own death, possibly as a way to hurt his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, deputies said.
Morales' parents could not be reached for comment.
For Morales, the turmoil began when his Socorro High School girlfriend broke up with him, according to witness statements. Not long after the break-up, Morales, a former Radio Shack employee, bought a high-tech smart phone and used it to send her text messages from "spoof" numbers, sheriff's records showed.
He texted her about 100
times a day from various numbers. His ex-girlfriend did not suspect he was sending them until the night she received a message from her grandmother's cell phone as her grandmother sat next to her, according to her witness statement. The girl then peered outside and saw Morales' truck parked near her grandmother's property, the statement said. Every time she received a message on her cell phone, a light lit up in the truck, her statement said.
Not long after that night, Morales sent his ex-girlfriend a message telling her goodbye.
Then, on Oct. 1, he went to an Academy Sports & Outdoors store and bought a 17-shot, .22-caliber rifle for $159.95 and a box of .22-caliber bullets for $9, according to a store video. He made the purchase at 10:17 a.m., the video showed.
After that, Morales rented a room at an East Side hotel, deputies said. While he was there, he took a picture of himself awash in blood and strapped to a chair along with a message that said a local criminal group had kidnapped him, deputies said. He sent that picture to his ex-girlfriend, deputies said.
The next day, deputies found his truck on fire and him lying dead next to it.
Detectives spent three weeks after Morales' death collecting evidence and conducting interviews. One of those interviewed said Morales was a fan of "Criminal Minds" -- a TV show about a team of investigators for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, according to a witness statement. Morales believed it was possible to commit the perfect crime, the friend said.
During their investigation, detectives found only Morales' fingerprints on the gun. Their investigation also showed that only Morales' shoe prints were in the area of his body and the truck, detectives said.
Morales was able to shoot himself nine times before he died because a .22-caliber gun is not a high-powered weapon, medical investigators said. Those investigators recovered several bullets and a bullet fragment from his body. The bullets were all embedded in his upper torso, according to Morales' autopsy report.
"If you have a lower caliber gun, it's not going to do much damage when it goes in ... that's why some people live when they get shot," said Annabel Salazar, lead investigator for the county medical examiner.
Now ain't that something.
While we are on the dumb subject might as well give a few more.
Men hold up NY pizza makers, flee with wrong dough
According to court papers, LaRosa and an accomplice followed the owners of Brothers Pizzeria on Staten Island. After donning masks, the papers say, they pointed guns and demanded the men turn over a bag they believed held the day's proceeds.
But instead, the bag was full of pizza dough.
LaRosa was released on $1 million bail on Monday. His attorney, James Froccaro, declined to comment.
Police: Robbery suspect tries to flee on lawnmower
Capt. Troy Elwell says Ricky New has been charged with assault and battery, first degree and armed robbery.
Investigators say the suspect beat a store clerk with a stick during the robbery. New was being held at the Aiken County jail. It wasn't yet known if he has an attorney.