Son arrested for killing homeless father after both had been living together out of a pickup truck

2 mins read

AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Police Department (APD) has identified Joseph Manalang as the victim of the homicide in the 7600 block of Blessing Ave.  
On Sunday, January 23, 2022, at approximately 3:07 a.m., 9-1-1 received a call of a man down in the street at the 7600 blk. of Blessing Ave. Austin Fire Department and Austin-Travis County EMS arrived on the scene and discovered a man with life-threatening injuries. The victim was transported to Dell Seton where he succumbed to his injuries. Joseph Manalang was pronounced deceased at 3:38 a.m.
Homicide investigators responded to the scene. Through investigation, detectives discovered that Joseph Manalang was experiencing homelessness along with his son, Rico Manalang, and they were living out of his 2002 red Dodge Dakota pick-up truck. Detectives were unable to locate the truck or Rico. 
On January 24, 2022, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s conducted an autopsy and determined the official cause of death as blunt force trauma. 

On January 26, 2022, with public assistance, detectives were able to locate Rico Manalang and the truck at 710 E. Ben White Blvd.  Detectives believe that Rico Manalang was responsible for his father’s death from evidence seized inside the truck. Rico Manalang was arrested and booked into the Travis County Jail for 1st Degree Murder. Bond has been set at $1 million. 
Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS, email, utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), or the Crime Stoppers app. You may remain anonymous. Information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, free on iPhone and Android.

This is Austin’s 9th homicide of 2022.