Ex-boyfriend, 2 others charged in fatal shooting of teen Niko Niko’s employee found dead in Liberty County, authorities say

Here's what we know

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas – Three people have been arrested in the death of a teen girl whose body was found in Liberty County.

The teen’s ex-boyfriend, 19-year-old Kevin Rivera-Ortiz, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with murder. Joel Garcia Martinez, 18, was also arrested and charged with murder, and 20-year-old Katherine Alvarez-Flores was arrested on Sept. 8 and charged with tampering with evidence and murder after admitting her role.

Investigators said Emily was riding in a vehicle with the three suspects before

On Sept. 4, a passerby discovered the body of Emily Rodriguez-Avila on the side of County Road 3550 near Plum Grove around 8:30 a.m. in Cleveland.

Liberty County Sheriff’s Office authorities said the 16-year-old had been shot twice--in the head and on her side.

The victim was an employee of Niko Niko’s restaurant and was still wearing a hairnet and uniform when she was found. The owner of the popular restaurant chain, Dimitri Fetokakis, confirmed to KPRC 2 that Emily had worked at the Memorial/Spring Branch location at the corner of the Katy Freeway and the Sam Houston Tollway since August.

“It’s gut-wrenching, it’s one of your own. We’re all pretty shocked,” Fetokakis said.

Fetokakis said the girl’s sister normally picked her up from work, but she reportedly told her family she was leaving after her Saturday night shift.

The motive remains unknown at this time but investigators say they’re not ruling out a possible gang relation.

“There’s probably concern with every family that’s involved in a situation like this whether it’s gang-related or not. I would say that to that particular family that I don’t feel like there’s any harm to them but you never know,” Capt. DeFoor said. “You never know how these things work out and we got some information it could be gang-related activities involved but as far as confirming that investigations have not done that this far.”

Niko Niko’s released the following statement following the arrest of the three suspects:

“This is tragic for all of the families involved and I hope it gives Emily’s family some peace to know what happened.” -Niko Nikos management