A Webster man was indicted Tuesday on a murder charge stemming from a killing in Galveston, but authorities are revealing few details about the crime that occurred more than two months ago.

When a grand jury voted to indict Luis Carbajal, 26, of Webster, it was the first public indication of a June 7 killing that investigators allege happened on the island, according to court documents.

Christian Hernandez Fuenes Escobar was strangled and beaten, according to the indictment. Carbajal, who also goes by the name Luis Ernesto Carbajal-Peraza, is charged in the killing, according to the indictment.

Cristian Rene Chavez-Chavez, 23, of Galveston, who also was indicted Tuesday, is accused of tampering with a human corpse. Investigators allege Escobar’s body was moved to somewhere in Harris County after he was killed, according to court records.

But other than the bare details of the crime, the indictments offer no explanation about where on the island the killing took place, what the relationship was between the men and what the motive might have been.

A Galveston Police Department spokesman Wednesday confirmed the department was investigating the killing, but referred other questions about the indictment to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.

Bill Reed, chief of the office’s felony division, said Wednesday he could not discuss details beyond what was in the indictments because of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Carbajal and Chavez-Chavez were arrested Tuesday and held Wednesday at the Galveston County Jail, according to jail records. Both were detained on immigration holds, indicating authorities believe they might be undocumented immigrants, according to court records.

The men are natives of El Salvador, according to court documents.

The public record offers very little more about the men. Carbajal in 2017 pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge, according to court records.

There are no records of previous charges against Chavez-Chavez in Galveston County.

Law enforcement officials are being unusually tight-lipped about the case.

In Galveston, authorities typically announce when they have made arrests in murder investigations or when a local person is killed under suspicious circumstances.

For instance, the same week that Escobar was killed, police released information on the arrest of a driver who allegedly hit and killed a bicyclist near Seawall Boulevard, and announced the death of a homeless man who was stabbed and killed on 51st Street.

Police made no such announcement in regard to Escobar’s death. Court records don’t indicate when police were alerted to his death or whether the investigation began on the island or in Harris County.

Both men requested court-appointed attorneys Wednesday, according to court records. Both men are scheduled to appear in court Monday, according to court records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


Senior Reporter

(5) comments

Ron Shelby

GDN: what are the islands homocide stats for the last 2-3 years? Would add some important context to the article.

Bill Cochrane

New word?
Is that the killing of . . . nevermind.

Carlos Ponce

"Both were detained on immigration holds, indicating authorities believe they might be undocumented immigrants, according to court records."
Aren't you glad Galveston is NOT a Sanctuary City?

David Doe

Bravo Galveston County!

George Croix

"According to Fox news ALL problems are a result of illegal aliens...."
Or, something close to that.....
Hmmmmm.....where did I read that.......[beam][beam]

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