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Mark Ysasaga: Teen missing from Texas Possibly Found

Mark Ysasaga

UPDATE 2016: Jose Angel Simental, 21, pleaded guilty Friday to tampering with evidence related to the murder case of Mark Anthony Ysasaga.

UPDATE 7/16/16 -The funeral service for slain Lubbock teen Mark Ysasaga was on July 15, 2016.

UPDATE 7/3/15 –  New information has come out concerning missing paperwork tied to the Mark Ysasaga case.

In May 2015, the Lubbock Police Dept. stated they believe that Mark was murdered by Jose Angel Simental who was currently in jail for a burglary charge.  Then leap forward to June, 2015 and they are announcing Christian Castro as a person of interest in the Ysasaga case.

The name Castro is mentioned in a story dated June 26, 2015 by the Everything Lubbock website.  According to James Clark, a reporter for the website, he had made an open records request to find more information about Mark’s case and he found evidence that a police report was deleted, as a way of not turning it over.  That report according to the website was related to the June 5 arrest of Castro for robbery and kidnapping, which is the same day he was named a person of interest in the murder of Mark. According to KCBD, Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office dropped the robbery and kidnapping charges against both Castro and Gonzales and Castro was paid the reward money of $10,000, then according to KCBD, escorted out of town.  According to other sources he called in the tip while he was in jail. As far as what was released yesterday all I can say is I hope LPD did not give the reward money to anyone that took part in my sons death. We worked really hard to raise the $2500 that we put in. That money could have helped us lay my son to rest. I really hope what was said yesterday is incorrect but i guess we will never know,” said Mark’s mother, Anna on Facebook.

Jim Sexton with Crime Line said after police approved the payout, Sexton called the bank where Crime Line keeps its account and gave an employee an identification code with which the tipster could pick up the reward money in cash, reports Lubbock Online.

On June 19, I wrote that the report the police received and the arrest of Castro seem coincidentally close.” Then on June 26, the City Manager of Lubbock, James Loomis announced that Police Chief Roger Ellis had been demoted to captain in accordance with civil service laws.

Everything Lubbock wrote, “As part of looking into the Castro story, an open records request was made on June 8.  On June 23 the city provided some but not all of the requested material.  The material that was provided seems to indicate a police report was deleted on June 12 instead of turned over.  The material did not say who might have done it.
Everything Lubbock brings up the questions of whether Ellis’ demotion has anything to do with the deleted police reportas it happened the same day that a complaint was made that the police report was missing.

But then on June 26, NBCDFW news reported the U.S. Justice Department accused the Lubbock Police Department of discriminating against women and Hispanics in hiring probationary police officers. “After examining multiple hiring cycles, the department’s civil rights division charged the Police Department with violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act through its written and physical exam standards,” reports NBCDFW news, and that was why Ellis was demoted.

NBCDFW also reported that James Shavers, a Lubbock assistant chief of police who oversaw the Ysasaga investigation, was moved from investigations to patrol on Thursday.  Quite a serious demotion and this one I could find no explanation.
James Shaver

The question next is what exactly was in the police report that was deleted.  The media, the public and Mark’s family, Im sure wants to know and has every right to know.

At this point, Castro is a free man with $10,000 in his pocket and Simmental is in jail for Mark’s murder.  Evidently, Castro may have been a person of interest but was that interest because he witnessed his death, or did someone like Simental confess to Castro or was it as serious as Castro was to Mark’s murder. Hopefully, the newly appointed heads of the Lubbock Police Dept. will get to the bottom of it and let’s us know.

UPDATE 6/10/15 –  The Chief Medical Examiner state:  Remains have been identified as those of Mark Anthony Ysasaga of Lubbock Texas. The Cause of Death is Homicidal Violence with Gunshot. The Manner of Death is classified as Homicide. The Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office has spoken with family members.

he Chief Medical Examiner is submitting the following information regarding those remains:
The remains have been scientifically identified as those of Mark Anthony Ysasaga of Lubbock Texas.
The Cause of Death is Homicidal Violence with Gunshot.
The Manner of Death is classified as Homicide.
The Lubbock County Medical Examiner’s Office has spoken with family members.

Read More: Mark Ysasaga’s Body Positively Identified |

UPDATE:  6/6/15 – Lubbock Police Department reported they received an anonymous tip that led them to the remains of a male, in an open field area in the area of I-27 and 120th Street in South Lubbock County.
Mark’s family have stated they have been informed but there is no confirmation that the remains are Mark’s even though media has presented it that way. Posted on their Facebook page it states:

“Today LPD released a statement saying remains were located in South Lubbock. No it has NOT be confirmed that the remains are Anthonys. Also NONE of the family has “confirmed” that it is him. We have NOT talked to anyone but the detectives on the case so we do not know why people are saying “family confirmed”. Yes media does call but we tell them all the same thing which is “We have no comment at this time”. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. Thank you.”

Who was the first to announce that Mark’s body was found could have been an assumption or could have been true, and then the police asked them to retract the information.  As this is a criminal case it is very important to not let information out that might cause the case to not move forward judicially.

The police always find something, like clothing or personal belongings that let them know it is probably that person and that information is given to the family.  Usually the family is asked to keep the information to themselves so they can continue to investigate the case.  Some family’s abide by the police’s wishes and others do not.

So, for now, the Lubbock police has stated there no officially identification of the body as Ysasaga. Also,Lubbock Police Department spokesman Lt. Ray Mendoza stated that Christian Castro, 19,  is a person of interest in the Ysasaga case.  Castro was arrested on aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges along with Devon Gonzales, 20, on Friday, June 5, 2015.  They were accused of forcing their way into a home on 11th near Slide around 4 a.m. Thursday. The victim told police that they stole from him and tried to take him to another location, but he escaped.

The “Tip” that the police received and the arrest of Castro seem coincidentally close. Also, there is the press release by the Lubbock PD in May that said they believed that Simental murdered Mark.  The Lubbock police stated they believed another person was involved in the case.  Have they found that person?  Is is Castro? UPDATE:  May 14, 2015 –  A press release by the Lubbock PD states they believe that Mark was murdered by Jose Angel Simental, 20, who is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence for burglary.   Mark was reported missing in 2012 and at that time the Lubbock PD stated they thought that Mark was a runaway.

Jose Simental

They state now in their press release contrary to their previous runaway assumption that they did an active, thorough, and on-going investigation into Mark’s disappearance.  But, I really doubt it.  I think it was the constant pressure by the public that kept Mark’s case in the forefront otherwise he would have been forgotten, and the case never further pursued. They do not explain why in 2012 when they searched the house for evidence, they found none, but later we find out they went back in 2015 and took the floorboards out that showed blood on the underside of the boards which they took DNA from.  Why was this not done in 2012, particularly when they knew that Jose had replaced the carpet recently.  The police department announced that the home was crime scene where Ysasaga was murdered, There is also two witnesses that told the police that Jose confessed to killing Mark over money.  There is also more people involved in Mark’s death and the police are pursuing their whereabouts.

LUBBOCK, TX (PRESS RELEASE) The Lubbock Police Department announces an arrest warrant for Jose Angel Simental, a Hispanic male born December 8, 1994. He is being charged with the murder of Mark Anthony Ysasaga, born March 28, 1997.

On case number 12-20817, Mark Ysasaga was reported to our agency as a missing person on June 15, 2012. Based on the information available at the time, it was initially investigated as a missing person case and our investigators conducted an active, thorough, and on-going investigation into his disappearance. In addition, the citizens and community of Lubbock have rallied around Mark’s family and have assisted with publicity, social media, and numerous physical searches in an effort to bring Mark home. Unfortunately, our investigation and extensive efforts have yet to locate him.

As is common in missing person cases like this, earlier this year, our homicide investigators gave this case a fresh look to try and develop any new leads. The entire case was revisited, involved persons were re-interviewed, and evidence was re-evaluated. Based on the thorough investigation that had already been done, combined with the new work done by our homicide investigators, new evidence was discovered. This new evidence led us to a local residence, 3016 27th Street, where a suspected crime scene and blood DNA evidence was found. The blood evidence was in an amount and location that, when combined with statements and other corroborating evidence, led us to believe that we had indeed located the scene of a homicide. In addition, the DNA from that blood evidence has been positively identified as belonging to Mark Ysasaga.

Thus, based on the totality of the investigation to date, we have established probable cause that Mark Ysasaga has been the victim of a homicide. Also, we have established probable cause and evidence that directly ties Jose Simental to Mark’s homicide and the crime scene. The arrest warrant for Jose Simental was filed this morning in Lubbock’s Third Precinct Justice of the Peace Court. Jose Simental is currently incarcerated in the Clemens Prison Unit in Brazoria County Texas on unrelated charges. Our investigators are serving Jose Simental with the arrest warrant in person this morning and will begin the process of extraditing him to Lubbock County as soon as possible.

Points of emphasis:

First, this is still an ongoing and open investigation. The fact that an arrest is being made does not mean we are finished, in fact we still have a lot of work to do on this case, not the least of which is recovering Mark’s body for his family.

Second, we know there are more persons that are involved in Mark Ysasaga’s homicide. We know who these persons are and we are actively investigating them. We are encouraging anyone with information on this case, especially where Mark’s body may be recovered, to call Crime Line at 741-1000. Tipsters can remain anonymous and there is currently a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Mark’s recovery.

More information on Crime Line can be found at our website .

Third, it is our hope that this step in the investigation will begin a sense of closure and answers for Mark’s family. We have shared our findings with Mark’s parents, and it is now our duty at the Lubbock Police Department to continue to pursue justice on their behalf. In addition, we also thank the many citizens of Lubbock that have stepped up to assist in this case and have provided support for Mark’s family. You all have been heavily involved and followed this case from the beginning, and on your behalf as well, we will continue to seek justice for Mark.

While there is still much work to do, we would like to thank District Attorney Matt Powell, Prosecutors Sunshine Stanek and Wade Jackson, and their team of prosecutors and staff at the Lubbock County District Attorney’s offices for their help in getting the investigation to this point. We look forward to our continued work on this case with them to ensure justice is done on behalf of Mark Ysasaga and his family.

We urge anyone with information to call Crime Line at 741-1000. Callers can remain anonymous.

(Press release from Lubbock Police Department)

Original story:    Mark Anthony Ysasaga, 15, from Lubbock, Texas has not been seen since Wed., June 13.  He has not been returning calls to is cell phone.

The Lubbock Police Department has considered him as a runaway instead of a missing person, because they do not believe he was taken against his will or any foul play is involved.  Mark’s mother disagrees, saying her son would not run away. Mark was last seen at a friend’s house on 27th Street and Flint Avenue, where he stayed the night. Then, he left Thursday morning on foot, bound for another friend’s house near 50th Street and Slide Road, to take a shower. Nobody has heard from Mark since. Ysasaga-Cuevas said she contacted all of Mark’s friends from Facebook and through the contact numbers she had for them. She called the cellphone provider for information on numbers he had called during the previous 48 hours and then called all those numbers. But Mark’s mother came up empty.  The family is desperate and asks anyone with any information to call Anna at 300-1534 or Jessica at 559-8600.
Mark was wearing a white polo shirt, red basketball shorts with a black stripe on the side and white Nike Air Force shoes.

2 thoughts on “Mark Ysasaga: Teen missing from Texas Possibly Found

  1. My prayers are with the family, and especially Mark. I pray he comes home to his mom, both safe and sound. God bless you in this hard time.

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