UPDATED | September 6, 2015 7:50 PMBy Gabriel Roxas


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DALLAS (CBS11) – 23-year-old Crystal Cortes remained in jail Saturday night, arrested in connection with the death of pediatric dentist Dr. Kendra Hatcher.

The memorial outside Hatcher’s building continues to grow as loved ones stop by to leave flowers and pay their respects to the beloved dentist. This comes as investigators make the first big break in the case.

Police arrested Cortes after detectives linked her to the Jeep Cherokee caught on camera leaving the murder scene. Police say the owner of that Jeep contacted them when he saw the photos on the news. He told them he loaned the vehicle to a woman who allowed Cortes to use it.

“This has just been a shock to the whole family about her involvement in the case,” Cortes’ brother Rudy Aguilar said.

Aguilar describes his sister as the loving mother of her six-year-old son, a boy the family says is now a key part of the investigation.

Last night the cops came, took my little nephew out of my mom’s custody claiming that he was involved in this,” Aguilar said.

Dallas Police would not comment on whether they interviewed Cortes’ son, but a spokesperson for the Department of Family and Protective Services confirms the boy is in protective custody.

“He is a very intelligent kid, so he would tell them exactly if he was in the car, he would tell them exactly what happened,” Aguilar said.

Investigators say Cortes admitted she conspired with someone to drive a man to rob Kendra Hatcher in exchange for $500. Cortes’ brother Eric Garcia believes his sister was a small part of a much bigger conspiracy.

“You know she didn’t rob anybody. She was just the driver. I don’t know if she knows what she was doing, or if she got threatened to do it,” Garcia said.

Police say Wednesday night Cortez drove the suspect to the parking garage of Hatcher’s apartment. They say he then got out of the Jeep, shot Hatcher, and stole several pieces of property from her.

“If she was involved with this like they say, we do want her to come forward to come clean and let them know who else was involved in it, who else set it up, who else was… who actually was the shooter,” Aguilar said.

Cortes is charged with capital murder and is being held on $500,00 bond, according to the Dallas County Jail website. This is up from $250,000 reported previously.

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