$500K of criminals’ ‘dirty money’ aims to help Houston Crime Stoppers’ ‘Catch a Killer’

630 Houston-area murder fugitives targeted through new public safety initiative launched with help from Harris County

Harris County and Crime Stoppers of Houston have teamed up for a public safety initiative aimed at catching people accused of murder and on the run in the Houston area.

HOUSTONCrime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the “Catch a Killer” public safety initiative designed to capture more than 600 murder fugitives wanted for crimes across the Houston area.

The nonprofit’s effort will begin in a few weeks, Mankarious said on the Crime Stoppers of Houston website with a landing page that highlights some of the most wanted fugitives, including these noted in the news conference on Friday:

Michael Hull – wanted for the murder of Estela Sanchez – Offense date: May 1, 2021. Four prior felony convictions. Sanchez was killed in a different location, body dumped in a ditch, face, traumatic brain injury, authorities said Hull confessed to family.

Jose Pablo Urbina – wanted for the murder of Bryant Saul Delatorre – Offense date: July 17, 2019 Wanted for capital murder after a home invasion and robbery. He was arrested, charged and released on $250,000 bond and then he forfeited bond.

Tavish Rashad McKinley –wanted for the murder of Rayland Duna Maryland – Offense date: Feb. 25, 2016. He was out on bond and forfeited bond.

Bryan Vega-Velez – wanted for the murder of Alma D. Rivera Melendez – Offense date: June 11, 2016. bond forfeiture

Aaron Sandoval – wanted for the murder of William Garcia Offense date June 7, 2013

Luis Madrid – wanted for tampering of a human corpse - related to murder of 25-year-old - William Garcia – June 7, 2013

Trent Paschal – wanted for the murder of Savannah Paschal – Offense date: Oct. 21, 2020

Kevin Wayne Calhoun -- Wanted for the murder of Chad Reese - Offense date: Aug. 5, 2016

KPRC 2 carried a livestream of the event. You can watch the full news conference as soon as it can be processed.

Ogg said the homicide rate is unacceptable across our region and wanted to create the new program as a “common sense” solution to the rise in crime, utilizing Houston Crime Stoppers and its ongoing success.

To help launch the effort, Ogg presented a ceremonial check to Crime Stoppers of Houston for $500,000 for the rewards and operations of the “Catch a Killer.” The money, Ogg said, was “dirty money” taken from criminals’ illegal enterprise and removed through legal process.

“This is the people’s money,” Ogg said. “It was taken from criminals, from their proceeds, it was forfeited through a lawful process and it’s being reinvested into the public safety of our community thanks to Crime Stoppers.”

Houston Crime Stoppers’ victim advocate Andy Kahn added, “I got news for you, the ones that woke up today and had no idea that their life is about to change because guess what your faces are being plastered across the planet right now. Whether you’re running, hiding or you’re walking in plain sight. We’re coming for you and we’re going to get you. It’s just a matter of time.”

Information may be reported to Crime Stoppers by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477). You can submit online at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app. Only tips and calls DIRECTLY TO Crime Stoppers are anonymous and eligible for a cash reward.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.