RICHARDSON – The same man Richardson police arrested for a violent break-in at a woman's apartment Wednesday night is now accused of murdering a man during a botched burglary a few days earlier.
Dallas police are looking at the same man in connection with a sexual assault there, as well.
Richardson investigators say they got the lucky break they were looking for in the murder of a 63 year old male victim when they discovered a gun that implicated the same man in three separate crimes –– and likely more.
Lindy Friess is a fighter. She fought breast cancer. And Wednesday night, she battled a man who forced his way into her apartment and hit her with a gun.
She learned Wednesday that Jose Portillo, 22, the same man arrested for the crime against her, is now also accused of a Richardson murder.
"My first reaction is I'm more terrified, just to remember how much closer it was and how much more real," said Friess. "But I am thankful he is off the streets and can't do this to anybody else."
Richardson police believe a pistol led them straight to Jimmy Wayne Donawho's killers. Police records reveal Portillo used the gun on Lyndy Friess and again a few minutes later in a carjacking attempt.
But the would-be carjacking victim wrestled it away. Police say it's the same pistol stolen from Donawho's apartment September 7, when he was stabbed to death.
"Getting a hold of that gun was what actually linked him to the homicide, said Richardson Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Perlich. "We were missing the gun that had been taken in that homicide."
Police say Portillo, an undocumented El Salvadoran, confessed to the killing. He's charged with capital murder, aggravated robbery and burglary.
Portillo told detectives he was with two other men: 42-year-old Saul Montero and 30-year-old Omar Lopez, both undocumented Mexican nationals, who now face capital murder charges.
"It's terrible," said Friess. "I don't understand people who do these things. I don't understand it."
Dallas Police are looking at evidence and are considering using photo lineups to determine if Portillo is connected to the September 7 rape in Dallas' M-Streets neighborhood, when a man forced his way into a woman’s home and raped her.