ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A man is behind bars accused of the murder of an Arlington woman who tried to sell jewelry online after a high-tech hunt led investigators to him.
Mario Hernan Lopez Gamez is charged with killing 33-year-old April Vancleave.
Ever since an online jewelry sale led to murder in her apartment complex, Sayra Hall hasn’t wanted to buy or sell anything with a classified app anymore.
“I don’t do it. I’d rather just deal with people that I know personally or go to the store. I won’t use that anymore just ’cause, to know that somebody could do this,” said Hall.
Investigators said April Vancleave was trying to raise a little extra money for Christmas selling some of her jewelry using the app, 5miles.
When a buyer responded, she arranged to meet him at the Target near her home, and she brought her husband with her for protection.
“It’s scary ’cause she did everything right. She went to a public place. She took her husband. She did everything that I would have done,” said Hall.
“That’s what made it so scary for this community in particular, and that’s why it was so important that we aggressively pursue this case and bring those persons to justice,” said Arlington Police Lt. Christopher Cook.
Cook said the suspects seen in Target surveillance video followed Vancleave home, waited for her husband to leave, then robbed and killed her in her parking lot.
When detectives learned about the online sale, they were able to get a cell phone number linked to the buyer’s account.
The phone’s GPS coordinates led detectives to the suspect’s Dallas apartment where managers identified him from the surveillance video.
“Once we start delving into it, it may take a little bit of time, but eventually we’re going to be able to work backwards and determine the originator of an email or a cell phone number,” said Cook.
That number led police to Houston where U.S. Marshals took Mario Hernan Lopez Gamez into custody.
The arrest came as a huge relief to neighbors.
“It makes me feel good but more so it makes me feel good for her family. Her family can finally have closure,” said Hall.
Police hope to have Gamez back in Tarrant County next week. They say they’re confident with him in custody they will be able to soon find the second suspect.
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