HOUSTON (AP) — New surveillance video that shows a "person of interest" in the slaying of an 11-year-old Houston boy was released Thursday, more than two weeks after the stabbing.
"We have a very clear picture of this man's face," said police Sgt. Tommy Ruland, the lead investigator in the murder of Josue Flores. "Someone out there in the community knows who this person is. And we need this man's identity."
The sixth-grader was walking home from a science club meeting after school May 17 when he was attacked and fatally stabbed on a sidewalk a couple of blocks from his home in a neighborhood just north of downtown Houston.
The 36-second video shows a man running down a street not far from the scene. He's wearing a green jacket with a partially obscured word containing the letters "LYMEN" on the hood of the jacket.
"Somebody's going to recognize that jacket or recognize what the significance is or the origination of that jacket," Ruland said. "That's what I need."
He said detectives have been working full time on the case, canvassed the area repeatedly, following up leads and scouring the area for surveillance videos.
A 31-year-old man with a long criminal history was arrested days after the killing, but a murder charge was dropped when detectives found evidence to support his alibi that he wasn't involved. Police had probable cause for that arrest, Lt. John McGalin said Thursday, and quickly released him, but McGalin would not go "into issues of the past."
Police declined to specifically say where the video was made or when it was obtained, saying only that it came from a business and was made four minutes after the time detectives say Josue was attacked. The video shows a black man who has a mustache and possible goatee, is 25 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing 180 to 200 pounds.
"Coupled with the time frame of the video, the witness interviews, interviews in the community and the description, we would like to speak with this individual. ... I strongly believe someone in the community will know who this man is," Ruland said.
Several witnesses told officers they heard loud screaming and saw Josue struggling with a man. The boy collapsed on the grass near the sidewalk and the man ran off. A bystander flagged down police and alerted them to the wounded boy, who was taken to a hospital with multiple stab wounds and pronounced dead a short time later.
A reward for information in the case has grown to $45,000.