Two Arrested in Connection to Suspicious Death at Lubbock Motel Sunday, Warrant States

LUBBOCK, TX - Two people were arrested early Tuesday morning in connection to a suspicious death at a Lubbock motel.

Jake Austin Johnson, 27, of Lubbock, was charged with one count of murder and one count of tampering/fabricating evidence.

Geneva Monique Leal, 26, of Lubbock, was charged with one count of tampering/fabricating evidence.

Officers were dispatched to the Carriage House Inn & Suites, located in the 900 block of Slaton Road, around 9:40 a.m. Sunday after receiving a call that a man was lying on the ground in a parking lot.

Police arrived at the motel and found the body of Gabriel Salazar, 32, of Lubbock.  Homicide detectives were then called to the scene.

According to the murder warrant, obtained by Tuesday morning, police were able to quickly find Johnson and Leal after looking at hotel surveillance video which depicted Johnson's truck. 

In talking with police, Johnson stated that on Saturday, he went to Geneva Leal's duplex to meet another individual. He and the other individual left the duplex and then returned.

Johnson told police that when he came back to the duplex, he saw an injured man. Johnson told police he could see that the man was injured to the extent that his skull was partially exposed.

Johnson told police he offered to help remove the injured male from the residence. He said that at this time the victim was moaning and slurring his words, but he was alive. Johnson told police he placed the man in the back of his pickup and he and another individual from the duplex transported the injured male to the Carriage House Inn where they placed him in the parking lot.

Johnson told police he did not care if the man lived or died, and he found out the next day, on Sunday, that the male had been found dead.

Johnson told police he removed the plastic bed liner and tools from his truck and placed them at his residence. He said the bed liner and tools had the victim's blood on them.

Johnson told police he went back to the duplex on Sunday and noticed the carpet had been removed from the living room of the residence.

Leal told authorities during an interview Gabriel Salazar was at her residence Saturday morning.

She told police she witnessed Salazar being assaulted by other people within the residence. She said she observed Salazar being shot, stabbed and then struck with a baseball bat. She advised she cleaned up blood in the residence.


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