WEST ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Romeo and Joe Ortega are both in shock. Their little brother, Pablo, was killed on Monday.
“You know, our family is really devastated. This coward took our little brother away. He didn’t deserve it,” Romeo said.
In this moment, they’re remembering their time growing up together with Pablo.
“He used to hide his food all the time. Snacks,” Joe said.
“He used to hide his chimichanga burritos under the bed so we don’t eat them,” Romeo said.
25-year-old Pablo Melendez, one of the youngest brothers in a family with 6 siblings, lost his life in a shooting in Pleasant Farms in South Ector County.
The Ector County Sheriff’s Office says deputies found Pablo inside of a car near the intersection of Bonanza and Papaw after 1 in the morning. He died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The pain of finding out of their little brother’s death has this family in grief. They didn’t get the chance to say goodbye, but they’re saying it now.
“I always tried to teach him tough love. I dont know if he understood that, but I hope he knows that I love him,” Joe said.
“I want to tell him I love him. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you,” Romeo said.
24-year-old Matthew Brian Roe is the suspect. The ECSO says Roe has been charged with murder. He was arrested in the Pleasant Farms area the day of the shooting. While the family knows the suspect is behind bars now, they say they still have so many questions.
“I want to know if this was a set-up? Did they set up my little brother?” Romeo asks.
“We want answers, like why he did it. I want to know why,” Joe said. “Give him the maximum sentence. He don’t need to be on the streets anymore.”
The suspect is no stranger to the law. Matthew Roe is a serial child molester. He’s been given sentences for aggravated sexual assault of a child, stemming from 2012.
The family says they’re waiting to find out more, when the suspect is due in court. But for now, they have nothing to hold onto but each other.
“It’s in the lord’s hands now. The lord is going to take care of him.”
We asked the Ector County Sheriff’s Office several questions today: Are there more suspects? What was the relationship between the suspect and the victim? And why was the suspect is back on the streets despite his lengthy rap sheet? We’re told those questions are all part of an ongoing investigation.
There is a GoFundMe that will help Pablo’s family. You can find the link to that fundraiser here.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Ector County Sheriff’s Office at (432) 335-3050.