POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 8:51pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 9:49am
Tyler (KETK) — Many people come to East Texas to escape the big city and settle down somewhere safe.
"We live in an area of the country, when you compare it to other places, is a great place to live," said John Moore, Public Information Officer for the Smith County Sheriff's Office. "That doesn't mean we don't have serious crime here, we do."
Some of the worst criminals are the men and women on the run, the ones who would do anything to not be caught. Their considered to be... East Texas most wanted.
"Anytime someone like this is on the loose, it's likely they're going to commit similar violent crimes," Moore said. "You should always assume that anyone wanted for a serious crime is considered dangerous."
When criminals are wanted, they are on the loose; they could be living next door to you, driving down the same street as you, dropping off their kids at the same school as you, and it is their criminal history that should scare you. Our focus is on three of East Texas most wanted. The first, Federico Flores Garcia, a Longview man who has been wanted for more than eight years.
"Federico Flores Garcia is wanted in connection with the murder, or homicide, of a nine year old boy," said Longview Police Department Public Information Officer, Kristi Brian.
Back in 2006, Garcia got into an argument with his nine-year-old step-son that quickly spiraled out of control.
"The instrument used in the homicide was a drill," Brian said. "And the drill bit actually pierced the child's heart."
When Longview police arrived, the child was taken to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Garcia fled and has not been seen since, he is a most wanted suspect and if you see him you should not confront him. Garcia is 5 foot 9 inches tall, 250 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, he is said to be in either the Longview or Dallas area. If seen, contact the Longview police department.
Next, there is 40-year-old Melchor Bautista.
"Melchor Bautista is a suspect in a manslaughter and aggravated assault," said Detective Andy Erbaugh with the Tyler Police Department.
Tyler police say Bautista hit a pedestrian on Gentry in North Tyler back in 2004 and fled the scene.
"Witnesses say they were driving down East Gentry in Tyler when they heard a thump and saw a person flying in the air," Detective Erbaugh said.
Two men were crossing the road, standing in the turn lane when Bautista hit them and just kept going. When police arrived one person was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was seriously injured.
"One of them died," Detective Erbaugh said. "And one of them had a broken leg so he's wanted for manslaughter and aggravated assault."
His last known address in on Thomas Street in Tyler and he is said to have gone by the alias 'Santiago.' He is 5 foot 4 inches tall, 160 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, if you know Bautista, have seen him or have any tips for authorities, contact Tyler police.
"One of our most wanted is Raul Moreno," Detective Erbaugh said.
Last, there is 43-year-old Raul Moreno, who is wanted for sexual assault and abuse of a child. Tyler police say he was charged for continuous sexual abuse, a first degree felony.
"He was investigated for sexually assaulting his step-grandchild," Detective Erbaugh said. "The child was interviewed and able to detail a lot of the incidents and locations and based on the investigation by the detective on that case it was enough to get that felony warrant for Raul for sexual assault of a child. And once that warrant was issued, he disappeared."
Moreno tops the most wanted list due to the nature of the crime. He has been on the run for three years, police say he may be in East Texas, but he may also have fled to Mexico, where he has family ties. Moreno is 5 foot 9 inches tall, 180 pounds black hair, brown eyes, if you see him or know of his whereabouts, you are urged to contact Tyler police immediately.
In most wanted cases specifically, police say they need the extra eyes of the community for help.
"It is imperative that people remain vigilant, the police cannot be there 24 hours a day 7 days a week at every place all the time," said Jean Dark, the Public Information Officer for the Department of Public Safety. "Look at the Crime Stoppers website, know the people in your community or in your area that are wanted."
Remember, these men and women are some of East Texas most wanted and are potentially very dangerous and should not be confronted under any circumstance. If you have any information on these criminals or know their whereabouts call Crime Stoppers or your local police department immediately.