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Texas High School Senior Allegedly Kills Four Family Members Believing They Were Cannibals

May 25, 2023

An 18-year-old high school senior at Texas High School in Texarkana is accused of killing four family members on May 23 because he believed they were cannibals, local police say.

Cesar Olalde is facing capital murder charges concerning the shooting deaths of his father, Reuben Olalde, his mother, Aida Garcia, his sister, Lisbet Olalde, and his brother, Oliver Olalde. While he has reportedly confessed to his crime, Judge John Tidwell has appointed local attorney Jeff Harrelson to represent Olalde. 

So Jeff Harrelson may have a different story to tell on behalf of his client in the coming weeks and months. 

The tragedy on Tuesday devastated the area around the small community of Nash, Texas, where the family lived. However, the wider Texarkana has also been affected by the incident.

A surprised neighbor

Olalde's neighbor, Robert Ward, was shocked by the crime and remembered the Olalde family as "extremely nice" and hardworking. 

They often brought him home-cooked meals and had never caused any trouble. Ward described the crime as senseless and heartbreaking, and he was shocked that such a "good kid" like Olalde could commit the acts he was charged with.

A confession?

According to a probable cause statement released by the authorities, Olalde allegedly admitted to killing his family members because he believed they were cannibals.

Police said Olalde allegedly confessed while talking to Joseph Flieder while allegedly waving a firearm. Flieder had gone to the house because Lisbeth Olalde, the victim's older sister who worked with him, had not shown up for work. Other friends and family members had also called the church, trying to find her.

Flieder, along with his wife, could not get anyone to come to the door when they arrived at the Olalde's home, police said. Finally, another family member arrived and forced entry into the house. Once inside, they both confronted Olalde, who was alle wielding a firearm.

Four dead

During a standoff, police said Olalde allegedly confessed to killing his family members and called 911. The bodies of the victims were later found in a bathroom. Numerous spent cartridge casings on the floor, and blood splatter throughout the home. The victims appeared to have been shot in various places before being taken to the bathroom.

The Nash police and other law enforcement agencies arrived and took Olalde into custody without further incident. He is currently held at the Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana on a $10 million bond.

She wanted to be a teacher

The tragic incident has left the community stunned and heartbroken. The Olalde family was well-known and well-liked in the area, and their deaths have left a void in many people's lives. Lisbet Olalde, one of the victims, had recently graduated from college and was looking forward to becoming a teacher.

Her death has left her friends and colleagues in shock.

Texas High Graduation and security problems

The alleged murders came at an awkward time for Texarkana ISD, which holds its graduation for Texas High students on Saturday, May 27, because Cesar Olalde was a senior at Texas High.

The school district has also stoked controversy for lying about security issues during a recent $189 million bond election in November 2022 that barely passed.

In June 2022, a security fence around Texas High School and other security measures for the school district were funded but never implemented. However, the school district falsely advertised (click here to read) the same security measures that had already been passed in June as being part of the November bond issue - which led to harsh criticism of Supt. Doug Brubaker. 

Sadly, fencing around Texas High School was delayed by TISD. As a result, almost a year later, there is still no security fence around the high school. This has left some concerned citizens to allege that the school district "literally dodged a bullet" and put students at risk.

How to donate for funeral expenses

The community is now coming together to support one another by helping the surviving family members. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay for the funeral costs and other expenses. Click here to donate. The page has already raised thousands of dollars, and many people have left messages of condolences and support.

Disclaimer: All accused criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Police documents and statements can be challenged by a defendant during court proceedings.

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