DALLAS — The owner of an Oak Cliff bakery is accused of killing a well-known artist he interviewed on social media right before stabbing him and burning his body, the Dallas Police Department said.
Manuel Tellez, 45, interviewed Anthony Moreno at his Maroches Bakery on Instagram Live on April 2, 2022, talking to him about his artwork that was on display in the bakery, according to the arrest-warrant affidavit. The two were allegedly in the establishment alone together at that time.
The interview consisted of the two talking about sugar skull art that Moreno had for sale inside the bakery.
Once the Instagram interview finished, Moreno texted his wife just after midnight on Sunday to let her know he would be home soon, the affidavit said.
It was soon after this interview that police said Tellez stabbed Moreno multiple times in an alley about two blocks from the bakery. Per police, Tellez then left the scene and changed clothing, before he returned to pour gasoline on Moreno and lit his body on fire.
While there still is a question of motive, the affidavit said these two men had a "romantic interest" in the same woman.
On Sunday, Moreno’s family reported to police he was missing.
Anthony Moreno's son Tony Moreno said he spent all day Sunday looking for his then-missing father in Dallas. When that proved unsuccessful, the son then tried the following day to look for his dad in the City of Keller, where he also had some family ties.
“It wasn’t until I heard there was a body found and, unfortunately, I prayed it wasn’t him," Tony Moreno said. "It turned out, it was.”
Tony Moreno said his father cared about his community and loved the art community, in particular. The son said he will always remember his father's face and smile.
“I forgive the man that took him, unfortunately," Tony Moreno said. "I know that’s unheard of, but I am a Godly man, so I do pray for the man who took my father’s life.”
According to the affidavit, there is surveillance video from a neighbor's backyard that shows Moreno's body on fire at the exact time police said the incident happened.
Cellphone records and surveillance camera footage from a nearby gas station also caught some of Tellez' movements from that night, according to a detective investigating Moreno's death.
In that surveillance video, Tellez can be seen wearing a white glove and filling a gas can, police said. The affidavit also added that a similar glove was found at the crime scene. Additionally, police said footage allegedly shows Tellez walking back toward the bakery right after the incident was said to have occurred.
Tellez was also wearing a surgical mask and baseball cap to keep his identity hidden, according to the affidavit. And Tellez' SUV had large rust spots on the roof that could also be seen in the surveillance video, making it easy to identify him.
Tellez was still in the Dallas County jail as of Friday, with bail set at $1.5 million.
Earlier Friday, Dallas police said officers had arrested Tellez and charged him with murder for allegedly stabbing Moreno and burning his body in an alleyway.
It wasn't revealed what led up to the murder until WFAA obtained the arrest-warrant affidavit later on Friday.
Police said they responded at around 9:20 a.m. on Sunday to the 1300 block of Kings Highway. Officers and fire crews arrived and found Moreno's burned body, according to police.
On Friday, Tellez was arrested and transported to police headquarters to be interviewed, then taken to the Dallas County jail, officials said.
The Moreno family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses for Anthony Moreno. If you would like to donate, click here.