NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A twice deported gang member has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide after a charred body was found in a smoldering car last month in Tennessee, according to reports.
Kevin Joel Castro-Garcia, 31, was taken into custody by Nashville police on Tuesday. He is charged with the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Elmer Nahum Miranda-Martinez. The victim’s badly burned body was discovered September 27 in the trunk of a vehicle that had been abandoned and set on fire in a wooded area off the 300 block of Franklin Limestone Road in Nashville, Breaking 911 reported.
The Metro Nashville Police Department did not reveal investigative details. However, an affidavit reviewed by Law&Crime outlines how the case developed.
The victim’s identity was unknown at the time of the autopsy. However, a witness came forward and provided information about the victim’s identity as well as detailed information regarding the homicide.
“One of the persons providing information stated that the above listed defendant told him he had shot and killed the victim,” the affidavit said.
Additional witnesses also provided corroborating information regarding the murder as well as the manner in which the body was disposed, the affidavit said.
“The identity provided for the victim by the informers proved to be accurate and assisted with identifying his remains,” the affidavit said. “Furthermore, the informers gave details about the murder already known to detectives, but that information had not been released at that time.”
Hence, detectives believe that Miranda-Martinez was shot and killed prior to his body being placed in the vehicle and set ablaze, Breaking 911 reported.
Castro-Garcia is a native of Honduras who was previously deported from the United States in 2010 and 2018.
In an email to Law&Crime, ICE outlined the suspect’s deportations.
On June 27, 2002, the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) encountered Castro near Laredo, Texas. The former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Harlingen, Texas, released Castro on recognizance into his parental custody on July 5. On July 23, 2005, an immigration judge in Texas ordered Castro removed from the United States in absentia.
On Oct. 20, 2010, a federal fugitive task force captured Castro in a joint Homeland Security Investigation and the Metro Nashville Police Department Gang Unit case.
The Nashville Gang Unit identified Castro as a member of the Sur 13 gang. On Nov. 5, 2010, he was sent back to Honduras.
Then, on Oct. 2, 2018, border patrol agents apprehended Castro near Hidalgo, Texas. He was issued a notice to reinstate his prior order of removal. The following year — on March 23, 2019 — he was sent back to Honduras again.
Officials said Castro-Garcia re-entered the United States at an unknown time and location. He remains in custody without bond at the Davidson County Jail pending the outcome of his state criminal proceedings, ICE said.
Castro-Garcia is schedule to appear in court Oct. 20 to face the homicide charges.