Four arrested after murder victim found buried near Grimes County home

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 4:15 PM CDT
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Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says three men have been arrested and charged with capital murder after human remains were discovered in Grimes County.

Jose Varela, Austin Walker and Eric Aguilar were arrested and charged with capital murder. Grimes County authorities also charged Gannon Gotlieb with tampering with evidence or a human body.

Sheriff Gonzalez said the remains are believed to be 21-year-old Zuhyr Kaleem. Kaleem was last seen leaving a fitness center in Katy on the evening of April 26, 2019. His family reported him missing exactly one year ago, on April 28 of last year.

Harris County investigators began investigating the case as a homicide in August 2019. During the course of the investigation, investigators say they found evidence that Kaleem was murdered during a drug deal and his body was disposed of elsewhere.

On April 25, 2020, Harris County authorities say Varela and Walker, both 21 years old, were arrested and charged. At that point, investigators say both men provided statements admitting to their involvement in Kaleem's murder.

Homicide Investigators arrested and charged Aguilar, 22, on April 28 for his role in the death.

On April 28, 2020, Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Investigators, Texas Rangers and Grimes County Sheriff's Office deputies were taken to a residence in the 8200 block of Loblolly Lane in Grimes County, Texas.

Investigators say they met with Gotlieb, a 23-year-old man, who admitted to burying Kaleem's body on the property of his home.

A forensic investigation will be conducted to determine Kaleem’s identity.

Gonzalez called the case a complex investigation and thanked the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety for their assistance in the investigation.