Bryan Riser is shown in a photo taken by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Riser, a Dallas police officer, was arrested on two cases of capital murder more than a year and a half after a man told investigators that he kidnapped and killed two people in 2017 on the officer’s instructions
A Dallas police officer was arrested for ordering an acquaintance to kill two people in 2017.
36-year-old officer Bryan Riser was charged with capital murder in the deaths of a 61-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said at a news conference Thursday.
Liza Saenz’s body, who had multiple gunshot wounds, was found on March 1, 2017 in a river area. The family of the second victim, Albert Douglas, reported that he was missing the previous month. His remains were never found, the police chief said.
García, who was sworn in as head of division in February, described the two murders as incoherent and said that although authorities had no motive, they were both linked to Riser’s “off duty” life. He added that investigators would nonetheless review his arrest records and “investigate the activities he has carried out as a police officer.”
According to The Dallas Morning NewsSaenz’s mother, Mary Hodge, admitted Thursday that their daughter and Riser had known each other but did not know the extent of their relationship.
García said his predecessor, Reneé Hall, was first briefed on the 2019 allegations against Riser after a man charged with Saenz’s murder came forward to implicate the officer.
The police chief did not provide an explanation as to why it took so long to arrest Riser – a 13-year veteran of the force. García also admitted that the newcomer had continued to patrol the city streets while internal investigations continued.
The Morning News spoke to Hall, who said Riser had become a “person of interest” in the murders when the witness came on. However, when the allegations were brought to her attention two years ago, there was not enough evidence to arrest the officer, she said.
Hall told the newspaper that a “strategic decision” had been made in consultation with federal law enforcement agencies not to take Riser on administrative leave to prevent him from covering his tracks or otherwise jeopardizing the investigation.
In September 2017, three men were arrested and charged with Saenz’s murder. One of them later told authorities that Riser had offered him $ 3,500 to kidnap and kill Douglas an affidavit from the policethat he supposedly paid. Riser later approached the man again and offered to pay him $ 6,000 to kill Saenz, whom he referred to as an “informant”. The money was not paid until the man was arrested, the affidavit said.
Riser is on administrative leave pending an internal affairs department investigation, but the department has moved quickly to terminate him, García said.
“This person has nothing to do with wearing that uniform,” he said.