Jacinto Torres Hernández, who was best known as Jay Torres, was found dead in the back yard of a house in Garland, a city northeast of Dallas.
A police report indicates he had been shot and had apparently been dead for several days, before he was found at around 7:30 pm on Monday. A homicide investigation is underway.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Jay, who was 56, was very well known in the Dallas area journalism community. He had worked as a freelance reporter and photographer for La Estrella, the Star-Telegram’s Spanish-language publication, for almost 20 years.
He also worked as a real estate agent. A police spokesman told Media Moves the house he was found in was for sale, but at this point it’s unknown if he was showing it to a buyer or looking to buy it himself.
An active member of the Hispanic Communicators of Dallas Fort Worth and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the circumstances of his death have shocked his friends and colleagues, many of whom, have taken to social media to express the sadness over his loss.
Raúl Caballero, his editor at La Estrella, wrote a moving eulogy on his Facebook page – a letter addressed to Jay – remembering 18 years of friendship and professional collaboration, expressing his profound sadness at the news of his death.
“Dear Jay, I hold on to your memory… when I heard the news of your death, I could not assimilate it, first hoping it was not your body, and later when it was confirmed to be you, unable to reconcile my growing shock…. I am in pain over your loss. And this grief that has invaded me, my noble friend, has overwhelmed me when I found out you were murdered.”
Raúl remembered Jay as a good friend, father and dedicated journalist, known for his unquestionable honesty and generosity.
Another friend, CNN’s Nick Valencia, wrote:
“Jay was a kind man. A humble man. The kind of person who set aside his own accomplishments to make you feel like you were the most important person in the room. I’m so sorry, Jay. I’m so sorry.”
Jay’s family held a press conference today asking for help in finding his killer. They also said Jay will be buried in Nuevo Laredo Mexico, but there will be a memorial service held in Dallas.
According to Univision 23 reporter Andrea Rega, who was at the conference, the family says Jay was working on two dangerous stories and that the killer knew him.
Here’s a brief sample of some of the many tributes and messages about Jay posted on Facebook, since news of his death:
Mi más sentido pésame a la familia, colegas y amigos de este gran periodista. No puedo concebir lo ocurrido, oro por su familia y para las autoridades logren pronto, dar con el/los responsables de su muerte.
Hasta siempre querido amigo.