Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Homicide suspect arrested in Abilene

The missing baby whose mother was shot to death at Ned Houk Park on Friday was located Monday morning in Abilene, Texas, and a suspect was taken into custody.

Eleia Maria Torres, 10 months old, was “taken to a local area hospital as a precautionary measure,” police said in a news release.

Abilene Police spokesman Rick Tomlin said the suspect is Alek Isaiah Collins, 26, who is from Manvel, Texas, a Houston suburb. “He has no ties to any of the people in the homicides or the infant nor to Abilene,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin said Abilene police made the arrest after receiving a tip from the FBI.

“Officers located a home in North Abilene where the suspect was reportedly staying,” Tomlin said. “At 4:30 a.m. on Monday, May 6, narcotic agents set up surveillance on the home, and the subject was eventually taken into custody without incident.”

Clovis Deputy Police Chief Trevor Thron said the suspect was located “though investigative leads, through witness statements, videos and cell phone records, including some GPS investigation as well.”

Clovis police released a photo of the baby on Monday evening that was taken after Collins’ arrest. The baby appeared happy and in good health.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Quentin Ray on Tuesday filed multiple charges against Collins, including two counts of first-degree murder and kidnapping. He expects federal charges will also be filed. Tomlin said the U.S. Marshal’s Office has a “hold” on Collins in Abilene, meaning he cannot be released without federal approval.

Tomlin said Collins was being held in Abilene on charges of aggravated robbery and assault on a peace officer with other charges pending. It wasn’t clear if the robbery and assault were related to the Clovis slayings.

FBI officials declined to take questions at a Monday afternoon press conference but said they are continuing the investigation.

Baby Eleia -- called “Lay Lay” by family members -- has been the subject of an FBI manhunt since her mother, Harley Cisneros, and Harley’s friend, Taryn Allen, were found shot to death at Ned Houk Park north of Clovis on Friday afternoon. Eleia’s sister, 5, was also shot. The sister is hospitalized in Lubbock, initially in critical condition. Officials have declined to update the 5-year-old’s condition citing a family request.

Matt Chandler, an attorney representing the family of Cisneros and her surviving children, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the victims’ family, we express our deepest gratitude to the Ninth Judicial District Major Crimes Unit, local and surrounding law enforcement agencies, and the FBI for their relentless effort and dedication, which led to the safe recovery of Baby Eleia.

“We are also deeply appreciative of the community’s support. As we move forward, we ask for continued thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of the victims, and especially for the healing of Harley’s 5-year-old daughter and the reunification of Baby Eleia with her family.

“Currently, the family respectfully requests time to grieve and process this tragedy.”

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