CRIME

Police Hunt For Alleged Mastermind Of Texas Dentist's Murder

Authorities say jealous ex-girlfriend plotted the dentist's murder.

Texas authorities have issued a murder warrant for a woman who allegedly orchestrated the slaying of a 35-year-old children's dentist, Dr. Kendra Hatcher.

Police are looking for 33-year-old Brenda Delgado of Dallas, who had previously dated Hatcher's boyfriend, Ricardo Paniagua, and is accused of hiring a hitman to kill Hatcher out of jealousy. According to court documents, Delgado "ended a two-year relationship" with Paniagua earlier this year.

Dallas police Maj. Max Geron told reporters at a Friday press conference that Delgado "was involved in the planning and the commission" of Hatcher's slaying, which was allegedly carried out with the participation of at least two other people. He called the crime a "murder for hire."

Kendra Hatcher, 35, was shot and killed in her parking garage in Dallas on Sept. 2, 2015.
Kendra Hatcher, 35, was shot and killed in her parking garage in Dallas on Sept. 2, 2015.

Hatcher was shot and killed on Sept. 2 in the parking garage of her upscale Dallas apartment. Her body was found next to her white Toyota Camry. Investigators found a single .40-caliber shell casing on her passenger seat, police said.

Delgado, a dental hygiene student at Sanford-Brown College, was allegedly jealous of Hatcher's relationship with Paniagua, and told friends she was upset that the couple had recently taken a trip to California to meet Paniagua's parents, Dallasnews.com reported.

Police are looking for 33-year-old Brenda Delgado, accused of masterminding Hatcher's murder.
Police are looking for 33-year-old Brenda Delgado, accused of masterminding Hatcher's murder.

Court documents obtained by CBS 11 News further allege Delgado used an iPhone to track Hatcher's movements on the day of her slaying. 

On Friday, police also announced the arrest of 31-year-old Kristopher Love, the man Delgado allegedly hired to kill Hatcher. 

Kristopher Love, 31, has been charged with capital murder and is accused of killing Kendra Hatcher.
Kristopher Love, 31, has been charged with capital murder and is accused of killing Kendra Hatcher.

Love has been charged with capital murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and is suspected of being the triggerman in Hatcher's death. At the time of his arrest, Love had the suspected murder weapon in his possession, police said.

Love's girlfriend, Merika Swint, told Fox 4 News she was stunned by the news of his arrest.

"I make plenty of money," she said. "I can't see him being hired for a hitman to take someone's life."

Love has "admitted to his role" in Hatcher's slaying, police said. He is being held at the Dallas County Jail on $2.5 million bond. Jail records do not list an attorney for him.

He joins 23-year-old Crystal Cortes, an unemployed dental assistant, who was arrested shortly after Hatcher's death for her role in the crime. Cortes allegedly told detectives she was offered $500 to drive Love to the parking garage.

Using video surveillance footage from the garage to identify those involved in the killing, authorities found Cortes within days and charged her with capital murder. She is also being held in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. Her attorney, George Ashford III, told Fox News that Cortes thought the plan was to rob Hatcher, not kill her.

Hatcher's family released a statement on Sunday, thanking police for their hard work and persistence.

"Kendra loved Dallas, and we thank the community for providing information that aided in the progression of the case," the statement read. "We grieve the loss of Kendra: doctor, daughter, sister, aunt, Godmother, and friend. And now we can have more closure with these answers. We ask the community to continue helping until this case is complete."

Police have yet to officially charge Delgado, and she remains a fugitive.

The Dallas Police Department is asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brenda Delgado to contact them at (214) 283-4818.

PHOTO GALLERY
Cold Cases