Lewisville police are looking for the landlord of a man found shot dead in the backyard of a home where he had been renting a room.
Police discovered Marco Polo Hernandez-Mejia, 40, dead on the evening of November 5, according to NBC 5 DFW. The victim had been shot multiple times, which the Tarrant County medical examiner confirmed was his cause of death.
Hernandez-Mejia’s landlord is currently the primary suspect in the homicide, authorities said, although they have not released his name to the public.
The investigation began when a vehicle was found abandoned in the city of Glenn Heights. Local police determined the car was registered to an owner with an address in Lewisville. They said the car’s ignition showed signs of tampering, leading them to believe it had been stolen.
After being contacted by Glenn Heights police, Lewisville officers went to the residence in the 800 block of Harbor Drive. A woman there confirmed that the abandoned vehicle belonged to her husband, who turned out to be Hernandez-Mejia’s landlord.
She told officers that she had not been able to reach her husband since he had failed to pick her up from work earlier that night and did not know where he was, according to WFAA.
Lewisville police then returned the next day and spoke with the woman again, who said she still didn’t know her husband’s whereabouts.
During that visit, the woman told police that she and her husband rent out several rooms in their house and had planned to evict Hernandez-Mejia for allegedly being delinquent on his rent. Officers then searched the home and found Hernandez-Mejia dead in the backyard.
The investigation is still ongoing and no further information about what might have led to Hernandez-Mejia’s fatal shooting has been made public.
In nearby Dallas, the murder rate continues to rise despite efforts by Dallas police to curb violent crime. As of November 9, there had been 213 non-negligent homicides and murders logged within Dallas, according to the Dallas Police Department’s crime analytics dashboard. This represents an increase of 11.5% year over year.
Due to what Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia referred to as a nationwide problem in a recent installment of The Dallas Express Podcast, DPD has faced significant staffing issues. It currently employs fewer than 3,200 officers, whereas a previous City report recommended a municipality the size of Dallas have about 4,000 sworn officers to properly maintain public safety.
High rates of crime logged in Downtown Dallas appear as a testament to these challenges. Compared to the downtown area of Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a special police unit and private security guards, Dallas’ city center sees significantly more crime. In April alone, approximately 46 times more auto theft occurred there than in Fort Worth.