Breaking News Emails
Texas authorities are investigating whether a possible love triangle is behind the murder of a popular Dallas dentist.
Kendra Hatcher, 35, was gunned down in the parking garage of her upscale apartment complex on the night of Sept. 2. Two days later, police arrested a suspect, 23-year-old Crystal Cortes. Investigators say she was offered $500 to serve as the getaway driver in a Jeep Cherokee while a male accomplice was supposed to rob Hatcher. Instead, Hatcher was killed.
Search warrants obtained by NBC News show that police believe someone else was involved in the plot: Brenda Delgado, the ex-girlfriend of Hatcher's boyfriend.
According to the search warrants, Delgado, who has not been named as a suspect, told police she loaned a Jeep to Cortes. Police also say Delgado pursued Hatcher, using an iPhone to "track the location of the complainant’s cell phone" before the murder.
Delgado and Hatcher's boyfriend, identified as dermatologist Ricardo Paniagua, broke up earlier this year after a two-year relationship, the search warrants say. Neither could be immediately reached for comment Friday.
According to friends, Hatcher and Paniagua began dating seriously this summer.
"Even if she only knew you for a moment, you were drawn to her," said Hatcher's friend, Elene Velasquez.
Cortes' attorney, George Ashford III, denied that his client knew the plan to ambush Hatcher would end in her death. He told NBC News that she is cooperating with police in order to "get everybody else who was involved arrested."
Cortes was charged with capital murder and remained jailed Friday in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Hatcher's family members have maintained her death wasn't a simple robbery gone awry.
"Robbers don't walk up and shoot somebody first and then grab their stuff," her aunt Lisa Sato told NBC News.
A funeral service for Hatcher is planned for Saturday morning in central Illinois, where she grew up.