Ex-firefighter, charged with murdering girlfriend and dumping her in Lake Travis, goes to trial Tuesday

Gavel - KXAN File

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A jury has been seated in the murder trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her body into Lake Travis. Opening statements are expected to start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Joe Carr, 29, who was a former Perdernales firefighter, is also accused of tampering with evidence. Opening arguments are set to being on Tuesday at Travis County Criminal Justice Complex .

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office found the body of Veronica Navarro, 22, of Spicewood Spring in the summer of July 2011. Investigators say someone wrapped her body in a tent and weighted it down with a paint can near Pace Bend Park.

“The last contact she had with family members was via Facebook on June the 27th. So, she had been missing for a couple of weeks,” said Roger Wade, Public Information Officer for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office back in 2011. “Family members thought she was living in Spicewood, and doing well. They didn’t report her missing. We had no indication she was a missing person. And Mr. Carr was not about to report that his live-in girlfriend was missing.”

Wade had said Carr and Navarro had shared a house not too far from where her body was found. Investigators searched Navarro’s home and found evidence which painted Carr as a suspect.

“They found evidence linking the body to the house. The tent bag, the box the paint came in, the tent poles and stakes. Everything was there in the house along with other evidence,” Wade said in 2011. “All indications are that he was trying to hide the body. The fact that the body was wrapped up, weighted down and thrown into Lake Travis leads us to believe he was trying to hide that body in hopes it would never be found.”

Carr tried to flee to Canada but was stopped in North Dakota.

The Perdernales Fire Department was shocked to hear all the allegations and had actually responded to the call.

“It was a water rescue alarm. We ended up getting there and it was a body in the lake. And it was a sad situation. We couldn’t tell at the time, male or female who it was, but it was a bad situation. We were stressed about it,” said Mark Warren, Assistant Chief with the Pedernales Fire Department in 2011. “No way did we know there was any connection with that, much less one of the members of our department.”

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