The Lubbock Police Department is investigating an apparent suicide at an East Lubbock motel that officials believe is connected with the May 21 homicide of an 18-year-old woman.
Lubbock Police Lt. Brady Cross said a Crime Line tip led investigators assigned to the murder case of Lakaria Moore to the Stadium Motel in the 4100 block of 19th Street. He said the tipster gave information that the suspect in that case was staying at the motel.
Christopher Carter, 39, was identified as a suspect in Moore’s shooting death, two days after her body was found in an abandoned vehicle east of Lubbock. Investigators obtained a warrant to arrest Carter for murder, officials said.
Cross said investigators following up on the lead began surveillance on the motel room about 10:30 a.m. Monday.
However, about three hours later, he said officers saw a man leave the room saying a person in the room appeared to have killed themselves.
“Officers went inside the room and found one male deceased from what appears to be, initially, a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Cross said.
However, Cross said investigators are awaiting confirmation of the identity of the body.
Carter’s charge stems from a Lubbock Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit investigation that indicated Carter shot Moore in the front yard of his home in the 2400 block of East 5th Street, then tried to cover up the crime.
The case initially began as a missing person’s case for Moore. Court documents state Moore was last seen with her boyfriend, identified as Carter, leaving a party in the early morning hours of May 21. That evening, Moore’s family reported her missing and believed she was in danger.
The next day, detectives with the Lubbock Police Department’s Major Crimes unit obtained information on the location of Carter’s vehicle, a Dodge Charger, which was found abandoned in a parking lot near North County Road 3000 and East County Road 6650.
Investigators found blood on the trunk area of the vehicle. In the trunk, they found the body of a woman who matched Moore’s description.
Meanwhile, Moore’s mother learned that Carter shot her daughter and went to his home to check on her. She arrived and entered the home through the open front door, finding the house was cleaned out and smelled strongly of cleaning chemicals.
Lubbock police arrived at the scene and found a bloody blanket and towels in the dumpster behind the house.
Carter’s neighbor in the 2400 block of East 5th Street, reported hearing gunshots from Carter’s home the night before.
According to court documents, investigators obtained a sworn statement from a witness who said Carter shot Moore in the front yard of his home and that blood evidence was cleaned from the inside, front entry way of the home.
A search of the home yielded five spent shell casings.
Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Carter shortly after but were unable to find him. Police officials issued a news release asking the public’s help finding him, saying he should be considered armed and dangerous.
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Police officials investigate possible suicide at East Lubbock motel