Murder victim's family says Hurricane Harvey helped killer get away

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Hurricane Harvey robbed some people of their lives and many others of their property, but the Lopez family says it helped rob them of justice.

While the streets were filling with water, their loved one's killer was fleeing from justice.

Each week, Martiza Lopez's family gathers at her graveside in north Houston, vowing they won't give up even though they feel everyone else has forgotten.

"I don't want anyone to feel like this. I wish I could stay here," Martiza's mother, Blanca Garcia said.

Blanca and her younger daughter, Jessica Lopez, bring Martiza's 8-month-old daughter to visit her mother's grave as often as possible.

Maritza was just 25 when she was found shot and killed at her apartment. Her boyfriend, Carlos Gonzalez, called 911 claiming she accidentally shot herself before he took their then 3-month-old daughter and left, according to law enforcement.

Thankfully, the baby was found unharmed at a relative's house, but Gonzalez vanished.

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Police say MS-13 gang member Carlos Alberto Gonzalez-Barahona, 26, is wanted for murder and aggravated kidnapping.

That was in the summer. Weeks later, Harvey hit. Martiza's family said that natural disaster-sized distraction kept police busy and off Gonzalez's trail.

The family was glad this month when Texas DPS announced Gonzalez was being added to the state's Most Wanted List, but that came the same day another massive story broke. The Astros won the World Series.

"It's like pain after pain after pain," Jessica said.

Happy for the team, the family was devastated at the timing.

They're begging for information on Gonzalez. He is from El Salvador and authorities fear he may flee the United States.

The reward for information on him is now at $10,000.

His full name is Carlos Alberto Gonzalez-Barahona.

He is 5'10" and weighs about 170 pounds. He has a tattoo of a star on his left elbow; "HOUSTON" on the back of his left arm; "TEXAS" on the back of his right arm; "GONZALEZ" on his upper back; "281" on his left arm; "713" on his right arm; as well as many others. He is from El Salvador, but investigators believe he may have also headed for Mexico.

Blanca, who's now raising the daughter he had with Martiza, lives in fear he'll show up again.

"He's a dangerous guy, also. I fear for my safety," she said.

With no arrest and few answers, Martiza's family is left with a list of questions as they huddle over her grave.

"How am I supposed to be? How's my mom supposed to be? How's niece supposed to grow up? What are we going to tell her? Like, I don't know," she said.

Tipsters can contact DPS Crime Stoppers at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). Or by texting the letters DPS followed by your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) from a cell phone.

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