Investigators first made contact with the suspect at a Stripes convenience store in Midland where she was working as an employee.

MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar) – A probable cause affidavit is revealing how Midland County detectives followed a trail of clues to arrest a murder suspect.

23-year-old Nereida Viscarra-Garcia is charged with two felonies: (1) Tampering with Physical Evidence, F3; (2) Murder, F1. Viscarra-Garcia was arrested in connection to the December 27th shooting death of 19-year-old Ivan Jose Ortiz-Castillo at 10001 West County Road 154.

The affidavit says MCSO deputies found 19-year-old Ortiz-Castillo on the side of the road under a pine tree, outside the entrance to TM RV Park, just before 6 P.M. He was dead from a single gunshot wound to his chest. The Dallas Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the gunshot as the cause of death. A trail of what appeared to be the victim’s blood led investigators to the discovery of broken glass approximately forty feet away from Ortiz-Castillo.

When deputies spoke with neighbors, one neighbor reported hearing a gunshot, but said the noise did not alarm him because recreational shooting happens frequently in the area.

The affidavit goes on to say, investigators examined Ortiz-Castillo’s cell phone which revealed text messages throughout the days before and on the day of the shooting. The affidavit says the victim had been communicating with a person, whose identity has been redacted from the affidavit, about drug and money transactions. The affidavit says the unidentified male mentioned to the victim that his sister would make deliveries for him. On December 27th, the day of the shooting, the unidentified male arranged for drugs to be delivered to the victim.

The court document says that at 4:34 P.M., the victim was instructed by text message to come outside for the delivery. Investigators say it was at that time, surveillance video showed a white car arriving in the area. At 4:41 P.M., one minute after the white car is seen leaving the area, the victim received a text message which asked him “what did you do.” That statement, according to the affidavit, revealed to investigators that a confrontation had occurred. It is still unclear what exactly happened during that time.

Detectives used social media and investigative tools to find the owner of that white car. The affidavit says detectives learned the sedan was a white 2008 Lincoln MKZ with an Illinois license plate, owned by Nereida Viscarra-Garcia. Further investigation revealed the car frequented a townhouse and convenience store near Andrews Highway and Midland Drive.

On December 30th, investigators visited the Stripes convenience store at 4317 Andrews Highway where they found the white car in question. It had a plastic covering over its front passenger side window, according to the affidavit. Additional officers arrived on scene before contact with Viscarra-Garcia was made. The affidavit says Viscarra-Garcia said she worked at Stripes as an employee and confirmed the white Lincoln sedan was hers.

The affidavit says when investigators told Viscarra-Garcia they needed to speak with her, she “frantically” tried to make a call or text on her Motorola smart phone. But her phone was “quickly retrieved,” due to the ongoing circumstances. Viscarra-Garcia was asked if she knew why she was being contacted by investigators, to which she replied, “Yes.” Viscarra-Garcia was taken to the Midland County Sheriff’s Office interview room where she was read her Miranda Warning. The affidavit says she declined to speak to officers and was then released.

Viscarra-Garcia’s white 2008 Lincoln MKZ was subsequently towed. After obtaining a warrant, detectives examined the car. The affidavit says detectives believed it was apparent someone quickly cleaned the passenger side door with a rag or towel, and liquid cleaner. The interior appeared as if it was cleaned, too. The passenger side window was broken out with broken glass remaining in the door. Detectives said the car clearly appeared to have been the same car seen leaving the shooting scene on WCR 154, and had appeared to have been clearly tampered with and altered. A trigger lock, a flag safety for a rifle, and a receipt for ammunition from a local gun store were found in the car, per the affidavit. It was after the car’s examination Viscarra-Garcia was charged with the offense, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, a third-degree felony.

On January 4th, a warrant for the aforementioned offense was obtained. The affidavit says officers attempted to find Viscarra-Garcia at her workplace, the Stripes convenience store on Andrews Hwy. Viscarra-Garcia was not there and had reportedly been absent from work.

The affidavit goes on to say deputies were led to Viscarra-Garcia’s apartment. After obtaining a search warrant, deputies entered the apartment, only to find it unoccupied. The affidavit says the apartment appeared to have been hastily vacated. Personal items were scattered about, but items like a gun box, a magazine loader, and a receipt for a fifty round drum magazine for a Taurus pistol were found. There was also a receipt for a local hotel made a few days after the shooting, per the affidavit.

MCSO deputies were then led to a third location on NCR 1140: a previous address where the suspect was believed to have stayed. When deputies arrived, Viscarra-Garcia emerged from an RV and turned herself in to deputies. After obtaining a warrant for the RV and the surrounding property, deputies found several firearm related accessories and ammunition, according to the affidavit. Deputies found a fully loaded Taurus G3C 9mm pistol under a bed, wrapped in laundry. The affidavit says that pistol was the same weapon Viscarra-Garcia used in early December of 2021 in a separate incident in which she claimed self-defense, according to a Midland Police Department case report.

In a heavily-redacted portion of the affidavit, an unidentified person told investigators they learned that Viscarra-Garcia had confessed to shooting someone during a drug transaction.

Viscarra-Garcia is being held at the Midland County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond (F3 charge) and a $1,000,000 bond (F1 charge).