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“Men jumped out of the windows…”
A routine compliance check on the whereabouts of a registered sex offender developed into a manhunt for two wanted fugitives in Cotulla last week, and one remained at large Monday morning, according to the sheriff’s office.
Identified as 42-year-old Jesus Orlando Ortiz Jr., the suspect in the case is wanted on outstanding arrest warrants and is being sought for evading arrest and violating the conditions of his probation, Sheriff’s Captain Juan Mirelez reported.
The suspect was one of two men who fled on foot when an officer approached the house in which they had been staying, the report indicated.
La Salle Sgt. Elvira Gonzales had been on patrol on South Main Street in Cotulla on Tuesday, December 7, when she stopped at a home to check on Ortiz, according to the report.
“Two men jumped out of the windows of the residence when the sergeant knocked on the door,” the captain said. “We believe one of them was Ortiz. Both fled through the residential neighborhood and disappeared from view.”
Law enforcement officers established a cordon and began a house-to-house search for the pair, eventually stopping at an abandoned home the following day and entering it to find a man hiding in the top of a closet.
Juan Castillo, 32, of Cotulla had likewise been listed as wanted on warrants and had evaded capture for approximately 24 hours when officers found his hiding place, the captain said.
“We believe it’s possible that Castillo was up in that closet the whole time, certainly several hours, during the manhunt,” Mirelez said, examining deputies’ video footage of the arrest. “He was just wearing shorts, a t-shirt and socks.”
Castillo was arrested by Deputy Mike Hernandez shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday on charges of assault causing bodily injury to a family member, interfering with an emergency call for assistance, and resisting arrest. He remained behind bars at the La Salle County Jail this week.
The search for Ortiz continues.
“If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jesus Ortiz Jr., we urge them to call the sheriff’s office,” Capt., Mirelez said.