Three teenagers have been charged with capital murder after 19-year-old Nathaniel Navarro was found shot to death in a park in Pasadena, Texas on Thursday morning.
The victim’s mother found his partially buried body after she tracked his cell phone and confirmed his identification.
A witness also called the Pasadena Police Department around 2.30 am and said that they saw a car crashed into a tree and heard multiple gunshots before a male and female pulled a body out of the vehicle and ran away on foot.
Navarro was pronounced dead at the scene with a gunshot wound to his upper torso after an apparent drug deal went wrong.
Investigators soon found the three suspects responsible for the teen’s death and identified them as Jeanette Lea Clifton, 18, Serenity Delgado, 17, and Cruz Isaiah Martinez, 18.
Nathaniel Navarro (pictured) was shot and killed at Satsuma Park in Pasadena, Texas after his body was found early Thursday morning
Surveillance footage showed three people enter Satsuma Park at 1.13am before Navarro drove up to the trio at 1.33am.
Then a round of four gunshots fired off before Navarro accelerated his car and crashed into a tree.
The three suspects were then seen leaving the area before they came back and returned and moved Navarro’s Cadillac CTS.
A criminal complaint revealed that two of the three suspects then dragged an ‘unknown object’ out of the car and ‘struggled’ to drag it across the park.
The ‘unknown object’ was later identified as Navarro’s body. Police said that other surveillance video showed one of the three defendants walking into the park with a shovel in hand.
One of the suspects, Clifton, was later caught on gas station surveillance footage with blood on her face and clothes.
Pasadena Police then posted that footage online and a woman came forward and said that Clifton has asked for a ride to La Porte.
In the video Clifton got into the woman’s car before the woman realized she didn’t have enough gas and the suspect exited the vehicle.
Clifton then turned herself into the police and provided a statement that revealed that she and her friend, Delgado, and Delgado’s ex-boyfriend, Martinez, were all together when the murder took place.
Delgado told police that the trio planned to rob Navarro of his ‘drugs, money and car’ at Satsuma Park (pictured)
After Navarro (pictured) was shot and killed, the three suspects left and came back to move his car and dragged his dead body across the park before they attempted to bury him
The Pasadena Police Department posted a press release of the incident on Facebook (pictured) and described how surveillance footage helped them catch the suspects
She went on to tell authorities that she ran away after Martinez shot Navarro in his car.
She claimed that the blood on her body was from her climbing the chain-link fence at the park that cut her face and legs.
Clifton was then picked up by her two friends in a Ford truck who saw her walking on the side of the road after she failed to hitch a ride from the woman at the gas station.
After her admission, both Delgado and Martinez were arrested. According to the criminal complaint, Delgado told police that the trio had planned to rob Navarro of his ‘drugs, money, and car’ the day before.
Clifton soon confessed to knowing the plan in a second interview as the criminal complaint detailed that her job was to ‘bring a shovel to dig a hole’ before they buried the victim.
She also said that she was tasked with picking up shell casings at the scene, which witnesses said they found nearby.
Authorities later found that the day before Navarro’s murder one of the suspects messaged him and asked to buy marijuana.
At the time of the drug deal Delgado handed over fake money to Navarro before he shot and killed him.
Martinez and Delgado were turned into Houston police by Delgado’s mother after the two told her what they did. The gun used in the murder was allegedly a Smith & Wesson 40 that belonged to Delgado’s mother.
Though Martinez refused to talk to the police at first, the three suspects soon confessed and waived their Miranda rights.
They were charged with capital murder and tampering with evidence since they moved Navarro’s body after the murder.
All three of them are being held in Harris County Jail and prosecutors have filed court orders to request that they all remain separated, Law and Crime reported.
Navarro’s (right) mother Priscilla (middle) posted pictures of him and his late brother Noah (left) who died in June 2022
All three suspects were charged with capital murder and tampering with evidence as they moved Navarro’s (pictured) dead body
Navarro’s mother Pricilla (pictured) found her son’s half buried body in the park after she tracked his phone
Clifton is set to face an additional charge for fabricating evidence in an attempt to impair the investigation.
Prior to the murder, Martinez was on pre-trial release for a DUI and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Navarro’s family took to social media following his sudden death and posted pictures in memory of him.
Pricilla, the victim’s mother posted pictures of Navarro and her other son Noah, who died in June 2022.
‘My boyz [sic] are together,’ she said in the caption.
Navarro’s aunt also the Pasadena Police Department’s press release to Facebook and said: ‘They deserve to die the same way they killed Nathaniel Navarro. Forgive me but that’s just how I feel !!!’
A funeral for Navarro will be held on Saturday, along with a prayer service.