A man was arrested Friday after authorities found the body of a missing 26-year-old woman buried under a house in Fort Worth.
Valerian Osteen, 24, was being held in Tarrant County Jail on Saturday without bail. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Marissa Grimes was reported missing in Arlington on February 12. On Monday, Fort Worth officers found a vehicle believed to be linked to his disappearance, police said.
Police said evidence then led them to a home in the 5800 block of Locke Avenue near Interstate 30 and Camp Bowie Boulevard, where they served a search warrant on Tuesday. Court records indicate that Osteen lives in this neighborhood.
Authorities found a body under the house, and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as Grimes on Friday.
Osteen had previously been arrested by Fort Worth police for a domestic violence offense involving Grimes on Jan. 9. A criminal complaint for an unlawful restraint charge says Osteen held Grimes against her will and pointed a gun at her.
Osteen was released from the Tarrant County Jail on January 13 and an emergency protective order was issued that prohibited him from contacting Grimes, police said. His bond was revoked on Wednesday and he was sent back to jail.
Police said additional charges should be filed against Osteen, but did not specify which charges.
Court records show Osteen was arrested on domestic violence charges after authorities said he strangled another woman in August, but a grand jury declined to indict him.
On Saturday, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson released a statement criticizing the $15,000 bond that Magistrate Judge Mark Thielman set for Osteen in January. Wilson noted that Osteen had previously been convicted of five felonies and several misdemeanors.
Grimes had answered questions in a risk assessment to help officials weigh the likelihood of Osteen harming her again and she was determined to be in extreme danger before Thielman determined the amount of bail, wrote Wilson.
Saturday’s was the second such missive released by Wilson’s office this week.
On Friday, she released a statement regarding Lancelot Dawkins, the man at the center of a statewide Amber Alert for his 11-month-old daughter, who was eventually found safe in New Mexico.
Magistrate Brooke Panuthos set Dawkins’ bail at $3,500 in January after he was charged with suffocating the child’s mother. He posted bond and fled the state. Police found and arrested him, and state district court judge Chris Wolfe again set his bail at $3,500.
Dawkins was released from jail on Thursday, the same day police said he took the girl, of whom he did not have custody.
“Judges set obligations. This is why judges have assessments and criminal histories at their disposal,” Wilson wrote on Friday.
The purpose of bail is to ensure that an arrested person will return to court for their case, and Texas law states that bail must not be oppressive. However, the law allows judges to keep someone in jail without bail in cases where the accused has previously breached bail conditions or if the judge determines that the safety of a person or the community at large is at risk. in danger.
Elected Tarrant County criminal court judges hire magistrates to perform many of the same duties, such as setting bail amounts and presiding over uncontested plea agreements. Magistrates cannot supervise a trial.