HOUSTON - Houston Police announced Friday that the murder charge against Che Lajuan Calhoun had been dropped.
At a late-morning press conference, police said Calhoun was wrongly accused in the murder of 11-year-old Josue Flores, who was stabbed while walking home from school earlier this week.
“We want to catch the suspect, but it has to be the right suspect,” said HPD Police Chief Martha Montalvo.
The family of Flores is devastated by the news as the search for a killer now continues.
People gathered outside where Flores was killed Friday for 'Justice for Josue' march, demanding justice for the fallen 11-year-old.
Police said Calhoun was involved in a scuffle with Metro Police Monday. They added that his clothes matched the description of the murder suspect.
Investigators said a neighbor also wrongly identified Calhoun as the primary suspect in the boy’s murder during a photo lineup.
Calhoun turned himself in Wednesday evening. Police said he told them he was innocent and provided an alibi during questioning.
“We wound up locating several witnesses from his alibi and interviewing them. Then late last night, we recovered physical evidence that showed he was in Pearland and couldn’t have been at the location where the murder occurred,” said Robert Blain, an HPD homicide lieutenant.
Members of Calhoun's family shared surveillance video with KHOU 11 News that they say serves as physical evidence to prove Calhoun's alibi. The video was taken at Mary's Food Mart in Pearland shortly before 4 p.m. According to police, the stabbing happened at 4:45 p.m. in the 1900 block of Fulton in north Houston.
Police called the Harris County District Attorney and asked that the murder charge be dropped Friday.
Calhoun, however, remains in jail on $10,000 bond related to charges for his alleged scuffle with METRO Police.
Police are now asking for any other witnesses to come forward in Josue’s death.
“There’s no evidence indicating Josue was intentionally targeted. This was just a random act of someone assaulting a child on the street,” said Blain.
Someone who saw the suspect described him as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall, 180 to 220 pounds, wearing a black shirt, black pants and a green jacket.
A $15,000 reward is being offered as a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Anyone with information should contact Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600.