Missing college student’s body found 40 miles away after year-long investigation

Investigators on Tuesday recovered the remains of a 21-year-old Texas college student who was reported missing by his family a year ago to the day, ABC13 reported.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office also revealed that it had arrested four people it believes are connected to the death of Zulyr Kaleem.

Jose Varela and Austin Walker, both 21, were arrested over the weekend and charged with capital murder, the sheriff’s office said. Eric Aguilar, 22, has also been charged with capital murder and was arrested on Tuesday, as was Gannon Gotlieb, 25, who lives on the property where Kaleem’s body was found and reportedly admitted to burying him. Gotlieb was charged with tampering with evidence.

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The sheriff’s office also said it believes Kaleem was killed in a drug deal gone bad but offered little details about the year-long investigation, except to say that Varela and Walker allegedly admitted their involvement in the murder.

Kaleem was last seen on April 26, 2019, in Cypress, a community northwest of Houston, when he dropped his dog off for a bath. His family reported him missing two days later. Harris County deputies began investigating the disappearance as a homicide last August, according to KBTX.

“It’s just like – what happened really, though?” his father, Kaleem Ahmed, said at that time. “We know where he’s going to: a friend, where he’s going to eat, where he’s going to visit a place. It’s just unusual for him to be gone that long.”

Kaleem was a student at Lone Star College-CyFair and planned to transfer to the University of Houston.

Kaleem’s body was found buried on a property in Plantersville, nearly 40 miles north of where he was last seen. ABC13 said the property is about 4 1/2 miles from the Renaissance Fest fairgrounds.

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[Featured image: Zulyr Kaleem/Facebook]