MS-13 gang members strangled teen to death in Galveston, officials say

Licona Cardenas (L), Chavez Chavez (C), Carbajal Peraza (R).
Licona Cardenas (L), Chavez Chavez (C), Carbajal Peraza (R). (Galveston Police Department)

GALVESTON, Texas – Three men have been charged in connection with a 17-year-old boy's murder in Galveston this summer.

The Galveston Police Department opened a missing persons investigation on June 9 for Christian Hernandez Funes Escobar, who was last seen on June 7 around 7 p.m. Escobar was last seen on the day before his 18th birthday.

Authorities said Escobar was strangled by several members of the MS-13 gang in Galveston, near Seawall Boulevard and Boddecker Drive.

Officials said Escobar's body was then driven to the 5300 block of West Fuqua and was buried in a wooded area.

Escobar's remains were found on Aug. 1.

Luis Ernesto Carbajal Peraza, 26, and Christian Rene Chavez Chavez, 22, have been charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence. Jairo Licona-Cardenas, 21, is charged with murder. All three are Salvadorian natives living in the Houston-Galveston area.

Peraza and Chavez are being held in the Galveston County Jail. Licona-Cardenas is being held in the Harris County Jail.

Anyone with additional information in the case is asked to contact investigators with the Galveston Police Department at 409-765-3778 or anonymously by contact Galveston Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477 (TIPS).