The man accused of murdering Doris Phillips now faces a capital murder charge.
An Ellis County grand jury issued the indictment this week against Miguel Arciba, 49, who was previously indicted on charges of murder and burglary of a building.
Phillips, 81, disappeared from her Reagor Springs home July 25, 2006, with her body found Sept. 8 in an abandoned house off of Farm-to-Market 984, about 1/2-mile north of the Bardwell city limits. The location is about seven miles from her residence on Old Church Road.
“This charge (capital murder) came as a result of the continued investigation into the case,” assistant district attorney Patrick Wilson, defining capital murder as a murder committed in the course of committing another felony.
Included in the capital murder indictment are three paragraphs alleging felonies of burglary of a building, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
Arciba has been in custody since his Sept. 3 arrest on a burglary of a habitation charge. After his arrest, authorities filed additional charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and burglary of a building. Bonds on those charges, including several class C warrants, total almost $1.8 million.
Arciba led authorities to the body after he was taken into custody. The body was sent to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, which determined Phillips died from blunt force trauma, officials said.
Investigators have previously said Arciba came to their attention early on after Phillips’ disappearance. Arciba had been interviewed and investigators said they were looking to bring him in for a second interview and polygraph when an item that had gone missing from the house turned up at a Canton flea market and was noticed by a family member.
The vendor identified Arciba as the seller, said investigators, who arrested Arciba on a burglary of a habitation charge.
Although Arciba took authorities to where Phillips’ body was, the 49-year-old has been otherwise uncooperative, authorities have said, saying he has only answered a few questions and none relating to the offense. Authorities acknowledged Arciba took a polygraph but have declined to release any results.
Available records indicate Arciba has a criminal history that includes five convictions for driving while intoxicated and convictions for assault, child endangerment and criminal trespass.
Special agents with the U.S. Secret Service and Texas Rangers assisted the sheriff’s office with the investigation.
Arciba had known Phillips since his childhood, when his family lived and worked on the Phillips’ farm. Arciba, who was living in Duncanville at the time of his arrest, had intermittent contact with Phillips through the years, authorities said.
In other grand jury action, four men were indicted on charges of animal cruelty.
“A deputy was on patrol in March on FM 55 and saw two roosters fighting with each other in a yard. The deputy pulled in to investigate and found all four men observing the cockfight,” Wilson said. “They also were found to be in possession of cockfighting paraphernalia.”
Indicted were Edgar Garcia, 17, Carlos Tapia, 26, Juan Salmoran, 40, and Juan Navarro, 27, all of Waxahachie.
Keith Butler, 36, of Red Oak was indicted on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon relating to two incidents that occurred on consecutive days, Wilson said.
In the first case, Butler allegedly used his vehicle to repeatedly ram another person’s vehicle. In the second, he allegedly used a baseball bat to break out the windows of a car while two people were inside of it.
E-mail JoAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org