An Iowan recently captured in Texas is now facing a charge of first-degree murder. U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped Raymond Benitez on Tuesday as he tried to cross the border into Mexico.
They noticed the 19-year-old was wanted as a material witness in connection with the death of 18-year-old Judy VanLo of Des Moines. Des Moines Police detectives traveled to Brownsville, Texas on Wednesday and interviewed Benitez, who’d been dating VanLo.
Following the interview, Benitez was charged with first-degree murder. A preliminary medical examiner report indicates VanLo died from blunt force trauma. She was found dead by family members in their Des Moines home on June 17.
Benitez is being returned to Des Moines.