Local 2 Investigates has learned a Guatemalan man accused of murdering his girlfriend in Louisiana sought help from a missionary he met in his native country. Pedro Alberto Monterosso-Navas, 43, was arrested July 14 at a trailer home near Katy.
A woman who lives at the home asked Local 2 to conceal her identity, but said her husband met Monterroso-Navas in Guatemala while he was doing missionary work.
"He just kept his business card all this time," the woman said.
The woman said the Monterroso-Navas was asking if the church could help him and his children find a place to live. The woman said they had no idea he was in any trouble until Harris County Sheriff's deputy arrived with an arrest warrant.
Monterroso-Navas is accused of killing his girlfriend, Heidi Monroy, on July 13 at an apartment they shared with their five children in Metairie, Louisiana. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's officials told Local 2 two of the children asked neighbors to dial 911 after finding their mother in the bathroom tub.
"Kept screaming their momma, their momma, they need help," said a neighbor.
Sheriff's officials said a tip helped them track down Monterroso-Navas in the Houston area with three of his children. None of the children were hurt.
Federal officials told Local 2 Monterroso-Navas, Monroy and the five children were all recently caught illegally crossing the Texas border, but all were released on their own recognizance because of overcrowding at detention centers. Monroy is from Honduras and Monterroso-Navas is from Guatemala, according to federal officials.
Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monterroso-Navas and his two children were released on June 26. Federal officials said Monterroso-Navas was released because he had no prior criminal history or gang affiliation.
ICE officials said Monroy and her three children were released May 11. All were issued notices to appear at immigration hearings at a later date.
Officials with Children's Protective Services in Houston said the three children found with Monterroso-Navas were reunited with their two siblings and all are in the custody of child welfare workers in Louisiana.
According to Harris County court records, Moterroso-Navas waived extradition and was transferred to a Jefferson Parish jail.
In a statement to Local 2, officials with the Border Patrol Union wrote, "It was a tragic event and our deepest condolences go out to the family. The catch and release method of securing the border has to stop. Between catch and release and agents hours being cut, the border is more porous than ever before."