A Nueces County grand jury handed down an indictment for murder last week against Esteban Ruiz, the 29-year old man arrested earlier this month in connection with the death of State Representative Abel Herrero's sister.

The grand jury issued the indictment Jan. 22, charging Ruiz with the death of Devon Herrero.

Esteban Ruiz, 29, surrendered to authorities Jan. 1, after a warrant was issued for his arrest by Justice of the Peace Henry Santana.

Officials with the Corpus Christi Police Department have said Ruiz is the only suspect believed to have been involved in Herrero's death.

An autopsy has been conducted, but the Corpus Christi Medical Examiner's Office will not release an official cause of death until toxicology results are received, which could take four to six weeks, police department officials said.

An affidavit filed with the request for an arrest warrant by Corpus Christi Police Department Sgt. Richard Garcia, however, indicates officials believe Ruiz killed Herrero by "beating and strangling her to death."

According to the affidavit, witnesses reported Herrero spoke with Ruiz by telephone around 2:25 a.m. on Dec. 28. A short time later, she was picked up at a motel where she had been staying.

At 3:42 a.m., her partially nude body was found lying in the roadway of the 3400 block of Bluebonnet Street.

Investigators were able to determine that Ruiz lives with his father at a residence in the 3500 block of Bluebonnet Street, one block from where Herrero's body was found.

While attempting to contact Ruiz at that residence, investigators noticed charred clothing items in plain sight matching clothing reported to have been worn by Herrero on the night of her death.

A search warrant was obtained for the home, and investigators recovered the burned clothing items.

Investigators also found evidence Herrero could have been killed in Ruiz's room and later dropped where her body was found, according to the affidavit.

Ruiz is currently being held in the Nueces County jail on $250,000 bond.