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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Questions remain in death of assistant district attorney


    Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos said late Monday that at this time his office has not found any evidence to indicate that foul play occurred in the death of a 26-year-old assistant district attorney.

    Villalobos also said that his office has no evidence to indicate that the death of Assistant District Attorney Arturo Jose Iniguez was caused by a vehicle accident.

    “”Until we conclude the review of all evidence, we cannot make a final determination of the cause of death,”” Villalobos said late Monday in a written statement to The Brownsville Herald.

    Earlier in the day, Iniguez’s mother said her son was killed in a car accident in Mexico.

    Iniguez’s body was found in his vehicle in Matamoros on Saturday, The Herald learned.

    Iniguez’s mother Maria Elena Alvarez de Lugo told The Associated Press on Monday that her son died in a weekend car crash. She declined to give any further information.

    Earlier on Monday, Villalobos said in a statement that, “”his cause of death continues to be an open and ongoing investigation.””

    Regarding unconfirmed reports that the death might have been a suicide, Villalobos told The Herald that, “”The information we have at this point is that no weapon was used.”” Villalobos also said that there were “”no indications of a hanging.””

    Several news outlets in Mexico reported that the death was believed to be a suicide. Reports said that the lid of a jar containing a sedative for animals was found by his body and that the jar was outside his vehicle.

    Villalobos said late Monday that, “”We have not received the results of any toxicology reports. The body was autopsied in Mexico and the pathologist for Cameron County will conduct an autopsy as well. We are awaiting reports from Matamoros, and expect to receive them sometime next week. We are not aware of any stress factors outside of the common expected factors of being employed in a high volume work environment, married life, raising children, and starting a career with enormous school debt,”” the district attorney said.

    As investigations continue, Villalobos said that, “”Evidence to be reviewed includes, interviews with family and co-workers; review of tapes of his crossing into Mexico; interview of any potential witnesses in Mexico; review of his belongings, including his cell phone, computer, email accounts, financial information, medical history; and review of the vehicle his body was found in.””

    Iniguez, of Rancho Viejo, had been promoted earlier this month to first chair misdemeanor attorney. He first joined the District Attorney’s Office in 2007 as a law clerk, while attending law school.

    Iniguez is survived by his wife Lorena Garza Iniguez and 2-year-old daughter Camila.

    Villalobos said that funeral services have been set for Wednesday, at the Funeraria Del Angel Buena Vista, located at 125 McDavitt Blvd.

    A viewing is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, with a rosary tentatively set for 7 p.m. A Mass will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

    Villalobos said in a statement that Iniguez was a “”dedicated employee and we are all saddened with this news.””

    “”Our office has a family atmosphere and his death is a shock to all the staff,”” Villalobos added. “”Our office and community was fortunate to have Arturo for as long as we did both as a public servant and as a member of the community.””

    Villalobos said that he expected the news to cause much grief in the DA’s Office and that arrangements would be made to console all those that need it.

    Iniguez received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, graduating Cum Laude in 2006. He was on the Dean’s List and both a member of the South Texas Pre-Law Society and Alpha Chi National College Scholarship Honor Society.

    He was a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center in December 2009 where he was a member of the student bar association and the Hispanic Law Students Association.

    Iniguez, who married in 2008, obtained his license to practice law May 5, 2010.

    Regarding travel to Mexico in the midst of increasing violence in the neighboring country from warring drug cartels, Villalobos said that the office does not have a formal policy on travel to Mexico.

    “”We advise our employees not to make it known that they are employed by the DA’s Office if they do travel to Mexico. We additionally discourage travel into Mexico; however, many of our employees have family in Mexico, so a complete ban of travel into Mexico is impracticable,”” Villalobos said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

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