HOUSTON – Houston Police say a man has been arrested in the south side murder of his sister-in-law.

A capital murder charge was filed Monday against 25-year-old Moises R. Ayala for the death of 23-year-old Zuleaki Hernandez.

Ayala appeared in probable cause court overnight where prosecutors alleged the murder was retaliation for the arrest of the suspect's brother, who is the victim's husband.

Police say the murder happened at the victim's home on Sherwood near Alberta, possibly on April 21. Prosecutors say police found her body three days after she had been killed in a state of decomposition.

Police say it appeared she was attacked in at least three rooms of the home as she tried to defend herself. She was eventually struck and killed with a board, prosecutors say.

Moises Ayala
Moises Ayala

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It's believed the suspect fled the scene in a Ford F-350, which was later found abandoned. Further investigation identified Ayala as the suspect in the case, police say.

Prosecutors say Ayala gave a confession statement to police and reportedly admitted to killing Hernandez.

Police allege Hernandez's murder was retaliation for the arrest of her husband. The husband was arrested a couple weeks before the murder and was placed in federal custody for immigration issues. He was also charged with assault of a family member.

Both the husband and his brother Moises Ayala remain in custody at this time.