Police continue investigation on found body - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

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Police continue investigation on found body

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Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 7:31 pm

While the investigation continues on a 33-year-old Odessa woman found dead in an alley, her family thanked the community after being able to raise the money to pay for her funeral through donations.

The body of Elizabeth Cruz Carrasco was found the morning of Dec. 22 in an alley in the area of East 36th Street and North Dixie Boulevard.

On Thursday, Mariquita Marquez, a woman who identified herself as Carrasco’s cousin, posted on Facebook stating that Carrasco had left behind three daughters and a son.

“Elizabeth did not have insurance to pay the expenses for a proper burial,” The post stated. “We have opened an account at Chase Bank for anyone that can help and give donations. It will be greatly appreciated.”

A representative from Acres West Funeral Chapel, 8115 W. University Blvd., said that it is not unusual for a family to ask for donations to help stomach the cost of an unexpected death.

“It was a tragic situation,” the representative said. “They had a big family that was able to pitch in—and of course friends. The community does help a lot.”

Just after 2:30 Sunday, Marquez posted that her family’s prayers had been answered and that Carrasco would have a proper burial.

“Thank you to all the wonderful people that helped out with donations,” the post stated.

Odessa Police Department spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said Monday the cause of death has not been determined pending the toxicology report. LeSueur said it could be several weeks before police receive the report.

However one person has been charged in the case following the discovery of her body.

Cesar Marquez Tarango, 1313 Clifford St., 32, was charged with tampering with physical evidence and is currently being held on $100,000 bond at the Ector County Detention Center.

An affidavit filed by the Odessa Police Department stated officers found Carrasco next to a fence in an alley near her home wearing a gray hoodie, black denim pants and with two black boots laying next to her feet.

Officers received information Dec. 24 from Domingo Tavarez, 64, that his 38-year-old son, Victor Tavarez helped Tarango, move Carrasco’s body from Clifford Street to the alley in the 1200 block of East 36th Street according to an affidavit from municipal court.

Police found Victor Tavarez during a traffic stop near his home at 401 E. Snyder St. where they arrested him on suspicion of drug possession and took him to the police department for questioning the affidavit stated.

Tavarez was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance in connection with the traffic stop after officers reported finding him in possession of heroin and prescription pills, according to a police report.

At that time, Victor Tavarez waived his rights to legal counsel and told police that he did see Carrasco lying dead on Tarango’s bed and that he helped Tarango move her body to a gray Mazda the affidavit stated.

Victor Tavarez reportedly told police that Tarango told him they were taking Carrasco to the hospital but instead took her to the alley where she would later be discovered.

Police showed Victor Tavarez pictures of Carrasco and Tarango and he reportedly confirmed the identities of both people, the affidavit stated.

As of Monday, Victor Tavarez remained in the detention center with bonds totaling $8,500 in connection to drug charges from when he was found by police Tuesday.

In a previous story City spokeswoman Andrea Goodson said that it would be up to the district attorney’s office whether or not to charge Victor Tavarez in connection with the case.

 His father, Domingo Tavarez, remained in custody without bond Monday on a warrant for speeding and a motion to revoke probation after being arrested Dec. 24.

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