LCSO: Girlfriend of Tarkington murder suspect now charged

Texas Ranger Ryan Clendennen and Liberty County Sheriff's Investigator Mark Ellington (right) confer outside a property on CR 3015 in Tarkington where a murder investigation is underway. (File photo from March 2021)

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office has now arrested Kathryn Alexander, of Tomball, the 19-year-old girlfriend of murder suspect Cade Cates, for helping Cates, 23, of Tarkington, and his alleged accomplice, Randy Norlan Salinas, 26, of Channelview, dispose of the body of their victim at a property on CR 3015.

“The follow-up investigation revealed that Alexander was present at the time of the murder and helped with the disposal of the body. Kathryn Alexander has been placed in the Liberty County Jail as the investigation continues,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Cates and Salinas reportedly killed Cates’ half-brother, age 16, who has been missing from the Highlands area since last week.

“Various sources of information began to come to light when the LCSO received a call on Saturday at 12:52 p.m. from a family member of the missing juvenile from Harris County to the effect that it was alleged the juvenile had been killed and was now buried in Liberty County in the vicinity of CR 3015,” DeFoor said in a statement on Wednesday.

Deputies went to the property where Cates lived in a cabin behind his grandfather’s home. They conducted a preliminary search near the five-acre property but were prevented from searching other areas until a search warrant was secured.

“Meanwhile family members of the missing juvenile contacted Texas EquuSearch asking for searchers to search the area off CR 3015. However, the policy of that search organization prevents them from conducting any such search without the authorization of the investigating law enforcement agency. At that time, other events were in progress by the Sheriff’s Office to secure a warrant and to investigate other pieces of information that continued to stream into the agency,” DeFoor said.

During a joint investigation between the sheriff’s office and the Texas Rangers, they reportedly located a burn pile between the two houses on the property where human remains were found. A continuing search turned up the partially burned and decomposed body of a male buried among the burn pile debris.

Cates was initially arrested on a robbery warrant not related to the murder investigation. Harris County Pct. 3 deputy constables brought Randy Salinas to the sheriff’s office where both men were interviewed regarding the remains that were reportedly first buried, then burned.

“There was enough evidence discovered in the investigation to warrant a charge of murder on both Salinas and Cates, and they were arrested and placed in the Liberty County Jail. At this time, there is no clear motive for this murder,” DeFoor said.

Liberty County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Larry Wilburn conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy on the remains. DNA testing, which could take weeks or months, will be needed to make a positive identification.

Bond for Salinas has been set at $1 million while bond for Cates is $500,000. At this time, both men remain in the Liberty County Jail. Neither a mugshot nor bond information is available for Alexander at this time. Hamilton has been charged with murder, according to the booking information from the County Jail.


  1. This is truly 😥.. I pray that the family get their answer .. to why?? I never did get that answer when my daughter was killed

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