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Report: Longview beating victim lured to death by false online identity

By Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal.com
Dec. 31, 2013 at 11 p.m.


A man found dead on a Longview street two days before Christmas may have been lured to his death by a "catfish" - a person who creates a false online identity to pursue online romance.

Alejandro "Alex" Garcia, 22, of Winona set up a fake Facebook profile posing as a Hispanic woman named "Monica Ayalin," according to witness statements in a criminal complaint filed against him.

The Facebook profile showed "various conversations" exchanged with 19-year-old Andres Chavez, the man found dead Dec. 23 near the Whistlestop Mobile Home Community in the 1100 block of Sabine Street.

Investigators also found Facebook posts indicating Ayalin and Chavez were in a relationship, the complaint indicates, and that Garcia used the profile to lure Chavez to the location where his body was found.

Another witness told police Chavez "believed he was coming to the Whistlestop to go on a date."

Ayalin's Facebook profile shows she entered a relationship with Chavez on Dec. 20.

The complaint indicates Garcia earlier had told his sister she was in danger of being raped by Chavez and that he was going to "end any chance of Chavez hurting her."

Garcia's sister told police Garcia wanted her boyfriend to help him confront Chavez but that he refused and the two left because they "did not want to be a part of anything."

A preliminary autopsy indicated Chavez died of "blunt trauma to the head and sharp force injuries to the neck."

The criminal complaint filed by Longview police investigator Trevor Yates shows Chavez's body was found in a pool of blood with "a severe amount of swelling and sizable cuts" to his face, and his "throat appeared to have been cut open."

Police found the handle of a black wooden bat at the crime scene, as well as a torn fingertip from a black glove underneath Chavez's body.

Garcia's sister told police her brother was acting "weird" and "nervous" and at one point called her and said, "Don't get scared ... Andres is in heaven now."

The autopsy also showed Chavez had cuts, scrapes and bruises on his head, bleeding from his scalp, skull fractures and brain contusions.

Longview SWAT officers arrested Garcia on Friday in Smith County on a charge of murder. He was booked into the Gregg County Jail where he remains under $500,000 bond.

- Follow Sarah Thomas on Twitter: @SarahLNJ

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