Friendship is deadly for 2 young women: A South Texas crime story

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Heather Ann Williams

Enjoying life, Heather Ann Willms graduated from O’Connor High School in 2001 and attended San Antonio College and Texas Lutheran University.

She has five siblings and is admired by many friends, including Jose Baldomero Flores, whom she and her family name Joe.

Heather and Jose met at O’Connor and have been friends ever since.

Often, she would invite him to her house for dinner.

a terrible discovery

On February 21, 2005, Heather was supposed to work as a waitress at Champs Americana, but she never showed up.

Her friends and family tried to call her, but no one answered.

Heather’s body was found at the home the next morning, a tragic day her stepmother Marianne Wilmes told the court.

“Her friends were looking for her because she didn’t come to work or eat pizza afterwards and they called us to worry. When they found her her dad was there with her friends. He called and said it was bad , Heather is dead,” Marianne said.

Heather was found in the bedroom of her Leon Valley apartment. She was raped and strangled.

Everyone who knew her was shocked by her murder. Who would do this to her?

Police began investigating and questioning everyone, but no arrests were made, and the case was deadlocked.

Another woman’s body found

Six years later, on March 2, 2011, San Antonio firefighters responded to an apartment fire, but inside they found the body of a woman.

The woman was identified as 30-year-old Esmeralda Herrera.

She was bound, raped, beaten and strangled, and deliberately set fire to destroy evidence.

However, not all evidence was destroyed.

Heather Williams and Esmeralda Herrera. Both were murdered by a friend named Jose Bardomero Flores. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All Rights Reserved.)

Jose Bardomero Flores

DNA was left on a beer can in the kitchen, along with hair, fibers and bloodstained shoe prints, according to an affidavit.

Police soon discovered that Esmeralda had been talking on and off throughout the day with a friend named Jose Bardomero Flores.

A friend of Esmeralda later told police she had known Jose for about a year.

The day before she was killed, Esmeralda told the friend that Jose would come to visit.

Police have now identified a suspect in Esmeralda’s murder. Jose was charged six weeks later.

But he didn’t stay in jail for long and was actually released after just a month, with the district attorney’s office saying they needed more specific evidence to charge him.

The waiting game begins.

It will be five years before the arrest, but this time with the help of the Texas Rangers.

Flores was arrested and charged, not only with the murder of Esmeralda, but also with the murder of Heather Wilmes.

The two families are now linked over crimes committed by people both of their daughters know and call friends.

They’ll have to wait again, this time for justice, and that’s in the summer of 2022.

“Overwhelming grief started coming because there was no sleep, just crying. We started planning Heather’s funeral, and no parent should be planning their child’s funeral. It was devastating,” Marianne said.

“Every fiber of mine wants you to suffer like my Heather and live in fear like Esmeralda,” said Heather’s mom Donna Ellis.

Jose Bardomero Flores faces the death penalty for killing two women. (Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All Rights Reserved.)

Plea and Sentencing

Flores accepted a plea deal on Monday, days before a jury was selected for one of his upcoming trials.

Flores was serving two consecutive life sentences on two counts of first-degree murder.

“The most disturbing part of this murder is that this brutal murder was not carried out by strangers. Joe Flores lost not only her friend, but what she thought was her big brother. Joe Lai To our house. He eats our food at the door with our kids. He is no stranger. Five days after Joe Flores murdered Heather, he lifted her coffin and her body as a The funeral director walked down the aisle of our church. He took the coffin down the hill to the cemetery and watched her coffin fall into her grave. Heather watches over all of us every day and is our guardian angel today. This Is our chance to get justice for her. While we won’t be carrying his coffin, all of us, as said, this community is pleading guilty to her murder for Joe, who is watching him. He’ll be in jail We will always remember him throughout his life,” Marianne said at the sentencing.

“Evil has stinged my daughter. Pure evil. Joe, you are the poster child for evil. You deserve to suffer forever. That fact is why I am writing this. Knowing that you will be there every day of your life All suffer. I suffer every day,” Donna Ellis said. “Today I forgive you. It’s hard to say. It makes me sick. I took my life back from your evil hands. I give myself my emotions, my thoughts. As I move forward in life, I take all Everything is dedicated to God because I know Heather is alive, healthy and happy in heaven.”

The Herrera family received a letter in court from the victim’s defense attorney who wanted Flores to suffer in prison.

Flores is now serving a life sentence in Beeville, Garza West Unit. KSAT 12 court reporter Erica Hernandez reached out to see if he was interested in talking, but he didn’t answer.

A forensic psychologist gets involved

Erica talks to forensic psychologist Dr. John Delatorre and asked what he thought of Jose Flores.

“When I first learned about the case, I thought it was someone I thought I had a relationship with these two women, and that might not be realistic. And because it wasn’t real, because it wasn’t what he thought was in the The actual relationship in his mind. It could turn violent, turn aggressive and end up killing these two women,” said Dr. de la Torre said.

She asked him if he believed Flores committed more crimes between killing Heather and Esmeralda.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think he killed anyone else in the meantime. I think the reason there’s such a long gap between the two may be that he was engaging in what could be considered stalking. Correct. I think he What’s trying to do is really focus on one of those two. Right. Because I think there’s a six-year or something like gap between the first victim he knew in high school, and then the second victim,” said Dr. . de la Torre said. “So I think after the first victim he probably spent a lot of time trying to get to know, trying to get the goodwill of the second victim. It took a little time. Right. I don’t think it’s possible for him to be one of those people who knew how to get along with One of the guys that women talk to, really knows how to talk to anyone, can really have a conversation. I wouldn’t be surprised if people describe him as awkward or weird when interacting with him. It’s just that he takes a long time. So in In his head, he had to fantasize about what those relationships would look like. It took a long time for him to actually feel comfortable enough to be with this person.”

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