Pharr murder victim identified

PHARR — The man found dead inside a home here Friday was identified Tuesday as 32-year-old Arnulfo Gaitan.

A suspect in Gaitan’s murder was arrested Friday night and remains in Hidalgo County jail on a $1.4 million bond.

According to the criminal complaint tied to the arrest of 29-year-old Gregory Alexander Ortega, Ortega and Gaitan were roommates. The victim’s family told investigators that Ortega “portrayed himself as a brother to the victim.”

It’s unknown when Gaitan died, and the criminal complaint indicates Ortega fatally shot him in the head at some point between March 28 and March 30. It noted that when “people would walk up to the house he would crack the front door slightly and when asked about the victim he would tell them that the victim was not at home and then closed the door.”

After Ortega was taken into custody, he waived his right to remain silent and “provided a statement of the accused implicating himself in shooting the victim causing murder,” the complaint states.

He told investigators that after the shooting he “got scared and hid the body and began to clean up evidence in the house.”

In addition to murder, Ortega faces evidence tampering, engaging in organized criminal activity and unlawful possession of a firearm charges. The gun used in the shooting belonged to the victim.