Man charged with murder of woman found dead inside empty La Marque home, police say

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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Neighbor recounts dramatic arrest of man suspected in woman's murder
Carlos Lara-Balcazar was arrested in the murder of Maria Rios after trashed evidence linked him to the crime scene, authorities said.

LA MARQUE, Texas (KTRK) -- New developments have been made in the case of a woman who was found dead inside an empty La Marque home on Jan. 31, police said.

The video above is from the original report.

The La Marque Police Department said that Carlos Lara- Balcazar, 34, is now charged with murder in the death of 57-year-old Maria Rios.

Officers were called to the home in the 1300 block of Green Jay Lane just before 5 p.m. when the property manager of the subdivision found Rios' body in the vacant residence.

RELATED: Neighbor recounts dramatic arrest of man suspected of house cleaner's murder in La Marque

Police said her injuries indicated that she was a victim of assault and that it was "definitely homicide." Investigators said Rios' owned a cleaning company and was contracted to use her services at the home.

The neighborhood where she was found, Sunset Grove, was relatively new and was under construction.

Authorities received information that led to discarded evidence in a dumpster on Golf Crest Boulevard, about 10 minutes from where the suspect lived on Broadway Street.

RELATED: Woman found dead in empty, new home in La Marque was owner of cleaning company, police say

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force arrested Lara-Balcazar Thursday morning in Houston.

It is believed that the suspect knew Rios and that the crime was "targeted," investigators said.

The murder charge that was handed to Balcazar had an assigned bond of $250,000. In addition, he was also charged with tampering with evidence