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Houston man charged with murder after woman found dead at newly built home in La Marque

Carlos Lara-Balcazar was arrested Thursday for tampering with evidence in connection to this case. He is now officially charged with murder, police said.

LA MARQUE, Texas — A Houston man has been officially charged with murder in connection to the woman found dead in a newly built home in La Marque, police said.

Carlos Lara-Balcazar, 34, was initially arrested Thursday for tampering with evidence in connection to this case. Evidence thrown away in a dumpster identified him as a potential suspect. The dumpster is about seven minutes away from his home.

Balcazar was given a 250,000 bond for the murder charge, police said.

Update: La Marque Police Department’s continued investigation has resulted in a Carlos Lara-Balcazar being charged with...

Posted by La Marque Police Department on Saturday, February 4, 2023

What happened 

Maria Rios, a 57-year-old Rosharon woman, was found dead Tuesday at a "bloody" scene inside a house at a construction site on Green Jay Lane, in the new Sunset Grove subdivision.

Police said Rios owned the company that was contracted to clean the house once it was finished.

Police said Lara-Balcazar may know Rios and her death was not "random."


Who was Maria Rios

 Rios was a mother of three daughters and a grandmother to four grandkids.

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

Rios' daughter told KHOU 11's Janelle Bludau that she has no idea why someone would want to hurt her mother.

"My sister just called me and told me that they weren’t able to find her. They weren’t able to locate her car," said Cynthia Espindola, Rios' daughter.

Espindola spoke to KHOU 11 from her home in Japan. She and her family will now have to make an unexpected trip to Houston.

“Be able to say my final goodbyes," Espindola said

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