Kristie Marie Cardenas

Kristie Marie Cardenas

A Seguin woman remained in jail Friday as investigators looked into the discovery of a decomposing body buried in the backyard of an Austin residence.

Authorities on Wednesday arrested 36-year-old Kristie Michelle Cardenas in Seguin and took her to the Guadalupe County Jail. Online jail records showed she remained held there Friday under $100,000 bond for a single count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.

Reportedly, authorities in another jurisdiction arrested Walker Kaatz for the same charge in connection with the same body.

“I don’t know the relationship of the two that were arrested. I do know they were residents at that location,” Austin Police Department Cpl. Destiny Silva said. “As far as the person that is deceased, we aren’t identifying that individual at this time because we do not have confirmation on the identity and next of kin has not been notified.”

Cardenas provided information to the person who called 911, which led to officers responding to the residence and the ensuing investigation, Silva said.

About 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, someone called 911 in Austin and said they thought a body was buried in the backyard of a home in the 5800 block of Mojave Drive in Austin, according to a written statement police released. Officers went to the address and talked to residents about the call.

Officers received permission to search the home and found in the backyard what appeared to be an area where a body could have been buried, the statement read.

Police secured the home and got a search warrant, with which they returned the next day to conduct a search.

Homicide detectives, crime scene specialists, members of the police bomb squad and the fire department helped in the search, according to the statement. They excavated an area where the body was under concrete, Silva said.

“By afternoon, a deceased person was recovered from the backyard,” the police statement read. “The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office transported the decedent to their office for examination.

“The death is being treated as suspicious.”

The discovery transferred the case into a homicide investigation, Silva said. Police were unsure of the cause or manner of death or exactly how the deceased person is connected to the suspects, she said.

“That is still part of our investigation. We have preliminary information just based on talking to th suspects involved that there may have been some kind of relationship between the suspects and the individual,” Silva said. “This appears to be an isolated incident.”

The investigation is in its beginning stages, she said. Detectives had much more work and several unanswered questions, Silva said.

For help, she asked people in the public with any knowledge about what happened to come forward and provide it to detectives.

“We do ask that if you have any information, please call the homicide tip line, 512-974-TIPS or Crime Stoppers,” Silva said. “Any information, we want to make sure this investigation is conducted thoroughly and accurately. We are reaching out to the community. If you have anything, please call.”

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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