Texas man arrested in connection with death of woman at newly built home

LA MARQUE, Texas — A Texas man was arrested in connection with the slaying of a woman who was found inside a newly built home near Galveston, authorities said.

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Carlos Lara-Balcazar, 34, of La Marque, was arrested Thursday morning in Houston by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force, KTRK-TV reported. He was charged with tampering with physical evidence but may be facing more charges, according to the television station.

Evidence thrown away in a dumpster identified Lara-Balcazar, 34, as the suspected killer, police told KHOU-TV.

Maria Rios, 57, of Rosharon, was found dead Tuesday at a “bloody” scene inside a house at a construction site in La Marque, according to the television station.

Rios was contracted as a cleaner for the home, The Daily News of Galveston County reported. A property manager called the La Marque Police Department about 5 p.m. CST after finding Rios’ body in the house, authorities told the newspaper.

Police said Rios owned the company that was contracted to clean the house when it was finished, KHOU reported. They added that Rios died in a targeted attack, but did not reveal how she and Lara-Balcazar knew one another, according to KTRK.

Police also did not say what was found in the dumpster that led to the arrest of Lara-Balcazar, the television station reported.

Rios was a mother of three daughters and had four grandchildren, KHOU reported. One of her daughters, Cynthia Espindola, lives in Japan and heard the news from her sister.

“She loved everyone. She was the voice of the family. The one that got the family together,” Espindola told the television station. “I just can’t believe that somebody could be that evil to do something to a woman who just did not deserve it.”

Lara-Balcaza’s bail was set at $40,000, KHOU reported.





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