Police arrest mother’s boyfriend for murder of Heath High girl

ROCKWALL -The former boyfriend of the mother of Heath High School freshman Suri Baeza,who was found stabbed to death in her home yesterday in Lake Rockwall Estates, was arrested for her murder today by Rockwall Police.

Juan Torres, 41, who lived down the street from Baeza, called police today and provided a written confession, Rockwall Police announced at a press conference today at 5:30 pm.

Torres told investigators that he stabbed Suri multiple times in the chest with a kitchen knife when he flew into a rage after they argued about money and going to a pawn shop. He said he turned himself in because he felt badly about what he had done. Police said they believe they have the murder weapon in their possession.

An honor student at Rockwall-Heath High School and band member, Suri stayed home from school yesterday because she felt sick.

Torres had lived with the family for eight years and recently moved out. He is the father of Surie’s seven-year-old brother. Police said neighbors suspected Torres may have been involved because they knew he had temper problems.

Police had said there were no signs of forced entry and Baeza was found still wearing her jewelry, so she had not been robbed. She was not sexually assaulted.

A preliminary autopsy report says Surie died from multiple stab wounds. The 15-year-old had defensive injuries, indicating she put up a fight against Torres but police did not reveal exactly where the injuries were.

Police said Torres is being held in the Rockwall County jail while awaiting formal charges.  He was also arrested in Dallas County in 2008 on a domestic violence charge.

A memorial service will be held for Surie Friday at 7 pm at the Lake Rockwall Estates Community Center. A fund has been set up to help the Baeza family with funeral expenses at American National Bank in Rockwall.

Some of her friends have set up a RIP Surie Baeza Facebook page.

Counselors have also been assigned to Rockwall-Heath High School for students who need to discuss the tragedy.

By J.J. Smith




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