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Maryland Man Charged In Murder Of Ex Who Vanished In December: 'Cause Of Death Is Homicide By Beating And Strangulation'

“My family has been shattered by all of this,” said Alexis Chávez, the cousin of Keylin Yolibeth Chavez-Dominguez.

By Dorian Geiger
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A suspect has been arrested in the murder of a 20-year-old Maryland woman whose body turned up in a park under an overpass last month, and is believed to have been beaten and strangled to death, according to police.

Francisco Ramon Lara Garcia, 30, was jailed on murder charges in the killing of Keylin Yolibeth Chavez-Dominguez, who vanished in December, the Montgomery County Police Department announced Tuesday.

Lara Garcia was arrested by U.S. Marshals at an address in Kirkwood, Missouri on Feb. 1. He was charged with first-degree murder in connection to Chavez-Dominguez’s death. 

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Chavez-Dominguez was reported missing on Jan. 2. She was last seen alive by family and friends at her Silver Springs apartment on Dec. 30. Her body was found on Jan. 28 in Upper Paint Branch Stream Valley Park under the Inter County Connector overpass. 

The cause and manner of death in Chavez-Dominguez’s killing is "homicide by beating and strangulation," the Montgomery County Department of Police told Oxygen.com Friday afternoon. 

After Chavez-Dominguez’s body was recovered, investigators zeroed in on Lara Garcia, who police say is the slain woman’s ex-boyfriend. The former couple had been living together at the time Chavez-Dominguez vanished, authorities said. 

A police handout of Francisco Ramon Lara Garcia

Her family, which offered a $1,000 reward for any information related to her disappearance, is still reeling after learning the news that her body had been located.

“My family has been shattered by all of this,” her cousin Alexis Chávez told WRC-TV earlier this month.

While Chavez-Dominguez was still considered missing, Lara Garcia gave an emotional interview to Telemundo begging for his former partner’s safe return. 

A police handout of Keylin Yolibeth Chavez-Dominguez

"If she sees this report, please, please give a sign, even if it's something minimal," Lara Garcia told Telemundo. “A call or a message to whoever. We don't care where it is. We don't care who she's with, we only care about her well-being."

The Montgomery County Police Department declined to comment further on the active case on Friday, beyond offering the manner of death.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” public information officer Lauren Ivey told Oxygen.com. “We don't have anything further to provide at this point.”

Lara Garcia is being held at a St. Louis detention facility pending his extradition back to Maryland, officials said. 

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