Texan man sentenced to 40 years in prison for staging his pregnant sister’s mu*rder to look like a suicide.

After pleading guilty to the charge of felony mur*der, Eduardo Arevalo, who was 19 years old at the time of the tragic event, was sentenced on June 9. These facts are revealed by court records that PEOPLE has acquired.

Initially charged with the more serious crime of capital mur*der, Eduardo’s plea agreement allowed him to avoid a sentence that could have resulted in a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Viridiana Arevalo, his older sister, died tragically at the age of 23 while eight months pregnant, which led to the capital mur*der accusation. Authorities stated that Eduardo’s belief that his sister’s pregnancy was a source of “shame” for their family led him to commit this heinous act.

As previously reported by PEOPLE, Viridiana was first reported missing by worried family members on December 17, 2019, in The Colony, a suburb close to Dallas.

According to KDFW, a note indicating Viridiana’s intentions to commit suicide was found during her disappearance, which led family members to believe she was going to hurt herself. However, law enforcement later disclosed that Eduardo had confessed to writing the note himself in order to pass it off as a suicide and cover up the mur*der. His deep embarrassment over his sister’s pregnancy and his misgivings about her ability to be a mother to her unborn child were the driving forces behind this action.

According to Sgt. Aaron Woodard, the public information officer at The Colony Police Department, in an interview with ABC13, “the only justification he gave for her mu*rder was the embarrassment he believed she brought upon our family, expressing that her absence would be more beneficial.”

After a fight on December 16, 2019, Eduardo allegedly confessed to strangling his sister while she was lying on the family couch, according to the arrest affidavit that KXAS was able to obtain.

According to the police, after carrying out the heinous deed, he drove her lifeless body to a remote area outside the city and left it there. Later, he allegedly returned to The Colony with the body after retrieving it and dumped it in an alley. Eduardo was allegedly seen by surveillance cameras close to the crime scene.

The court records identify Derek A. Adame as Eduardo’s legal representative, but he has not yet responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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