According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division Capt. Billy Knox, 26-year-old Randy Norlan Salinas of Channelview and 23-year-old Cade Cates who lives on CR 3015 in north Liberty County have been arrested and charged with the murder of a yet-to-be-identified and confirmed juvenile who was reported missing earlier last week. Various sources of information began to come to light when the LCSO received a call on Saturday at 12:52 pm from a family member of a missing juvenile from Harris County to the effect that it was alleged the juvenile had been killed and was now buried in Liberty County in the vicinity of CR 3015. Responding deputies conducted a preliminary search near a five-acre plot of land but were prevented from searching other areas until a search warrant could be secured. Meanwhile family members of the missing juvenile contacted Texas EquuSearch asking for searchers to search the area off CR 3015. However, the policy of that search organization prevents them from conducting any such search without the authorization of the investigating law enforcement agency and at that time other events were in progress by the Sheriff’s Office to secure a warrant and to investigate other pieces of information that continued to stream into the agency.
On Tuesday a joint investigation and search between the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers located a burn pile near the residence of Cade Cates on CR 3015 where human remains were found. A continuing search turned up the partially burned and decomposed body of a male buried among the burn pile debris.
Capt. Knox said that Cade Cates was initially arrested on a robbery warrant not associated with this murder case and Harris County Pct. 3 Deputy Constables brought Randy Salinas to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office where both men were interviewed regarding the remains found buried and burned. There was enough evidence discovered in the investigation to warrant a charge of murder on both Salinas and Cates and they were arrested and placed in the Liberty County Jail. At the present time, there is no clear motive for this murder. It is alleged that Cates is the half-brother of the reported missing juvenile.
Liberty County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Judge Toby Wilburn conducted the inquest and ordered an autopsy. No positive identification can be made of the human remains until the completion of DNA testing and the results of the autopsy. In the meantime, the investigation is on-going by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers.