Texas man gets two life sentences in cold case killings of two women

Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera were both found dead in their San Antonio-area homes six years apart in two Texas cold case killings

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A Texas man convicted of killing two women in the San Antonio area was handed two consecutive life sentences this week, authorities said. 

José Baldomero Flores III, 41, pleaded guilty to the slayings of Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera in a Bexar County courtroom Monday, the state Department of Public Safety said Thursday. 

In February 2005, Willms, 21, was found sexually assaulted and dead in her home, authorities said. The killer attempted to burn her body to remove evidence. 

Investigators identified Flores, a friend of Willms, as a possible suspect. His DNA was found on her body and on an object. He was never charged as the case stalled. 

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Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera were killed six years apart in San Antonio. Their killer was handed down two consecutive life sentences this week.

Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera were killed six years apart in San Antonio. Their killer was handed down two consecutive life sentences this week. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Herrera, 30, was found dead in her San Antonio apartment in a manner similar to Willms, investigators said. The unit was also set on fire. Flores was arrested after the killing, but prosecutors released him due to insufficient evidence.

The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program (UCIP) took over both cases in 2015 and the Rangers identified the unknown DNA from Willms' body. 

Flores was arrested in 2016 for both murders. 

José Baldomero Flores III, 41, will serve two life sentences for the killings of Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera.

José Baldomero Flores III, 41, will serve two life sentences for the killings of Heather Willms and Esmeralda Herrera. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

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