Dead man found in house in McAllen, beaten to death with machete

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Mario Nelson Amaya

TThe 57-year-old McAllen man accused of making false statements to investigators in a murder case claimed to know how the victim was killed and denied possessing images of the suspected killer despite having photos of him on his phone, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Mario Nelson Amaya was accused of giving false testimony to investigators in the murder case in which 47-year-old Salvadoran Jose Edgardo Sorto Molina was killed with a machete.

McAllen police announced in a news release that they had linked a 26-year-old Honduran man named Hector Neptaly Reyes Mendoza to Sorto’s death. the suspect is still on the run.

Amaya was arrested on Saturday after making false statements and was released the following day.

Sorto was found in a residence in the 2000 block of Houston Avenue in McAllen. Sorto had not been seen since June 3.

On Thursday, June 6, detectives arrived at the apartment and immediately upon arrival noticed the smell of a decomposing corpse coming from one of the rooms.

According to the affidavit, the room belonged to another person who also lived there and who is the subject of this case.

The detectives then questioned Amaya, who also lived in the house.

“During the first interview, Mario said he knew how Jose was killed, even though no detective gave him that information,” the affidavit states. “In a second interview, Mario said he did not make that statement in the first interview.”

In that first interview, Amaya also stated that he did not have any photos of Mendoza, but then provided pictures of him that were stored on his phone.

Amaya added that he did not know Mendoza’s whereabouts and had not spoken to him or been in touch since June 4.

Hector Neptaly Reyes Mendoza

Investigators repeatedly asked Amaya if he helped Mendoza evade police, but he denied it.

However, a search of Amaya’s phone revealed that he had called Mendoza on June 5.

In a third interview with police, investigators questioned Amaya about the call to Mendoza. He responded by asking for a lawyer and refusing to make a statement.

According to the affidavit, a search of Amaya’s vehicle also revealed “evidence in the back seat that may be related to the investigation.”

Because investigators believed Amaya’s statements were intended to deceive law enforcement, he was arrested for making false statements and released on $2,000 bail.

Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts or the crime is asked to call McAllen Crime Stoppers at (956) 687-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the P3 Tips smartphone application.

Any information that leads to an arrest may be subject to a financial reward for the whistleblower.