Teen held in murder - Brownsville Herald: Valley

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Teen held in murder

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Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 12:00 am

A 16-year-old suspect remains in custody, charged with murder in the death of Tiffany Galvan, whose body was found Wednesday near Benavides Park outside Brownsville.

Galvan celebrated her 17th birthday on Monday, the day she started her senior year at Los Fresnos High School and a day after she had written publicly on her Facebook page that she was having trouble with an ex-boyfriend.

She said on Facebook that she was pregnant and had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday.

Her mother spoke Friday of her daughter, who had a passion for singing and played the guitar at church on Sundays.

Maria Esther Galvan said her daughter was smart and energetic, a girl who liked to speak her mind but was not aggressive or confrontational. She said she never saw her daughter drink or smoke, and that the teenager followed house rules and made curfew.

"I had a feeling, the kind of feeling mothers get when something goes wrong," the mother said in Spanish of Tuesday night, when her daughter went out and did not come home. "I knew something was wrong."

Investigators with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department say the suspect in custody is Galvan’s ex-boyfriend and that they believe he fatally stabbed her at least 23 times.

Sheriff Omar Lucio said the suspect is a student at Lopez High School. He has been charged with murder and appeared before a judge Friday in a detention hearing at the Darrell B. Hester Juvenile Center in San Benito. His name is not being released because he is a minor.

Tommy Ramirez, chief of the juvenile justice center, said the judge at the hearing denied the boy the right to go home with his parents. He will remain confined in San Benito for the next 10 days until his next court date, in which the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office will seek to charge him as an adult.

Drugs or sexual assault have not been detected in the case, according to preliminary reports. Investigators said they have not found the murder weapon.

Galvan’s family reported the girl’s disappearance Wednesday morning to the Brownsville Police Department. Her mother said she last spoke to Galvan at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Her daughter had told her she was at the park with her ex-boyfriend. Earlier that day, Maria Esther Galvan remembers, Galvan had been excited to meet the boy.

"I told her to be back in an hour," she said. "When I spoke to her an hour later, she sounded sad. She did not sound like herself."

Maria Esther Galvan said she called her daughter again later that night and received no answer.

"The phone would ring and ring and no one would pick up," she said. "Then her phone was off."

Her daughter had met the boy, a football player at Lopez High School, on an online social networking site, the mother said. She had dated him for about four months before breaking up with him less than three weeks ago, the mother said.

He seemed like a good boyfriend until her daughter began complaining that he was no longer calling and that he was seeing other girls, Maria Esther Galvan recalls.

"I would tell her not pay attention to him," she said. "I would tell her to forget about him."

On her Facebook page, Galvan openly discusses with friends her troubles with the boy and makes reference to a pregnancy. She tells a friend her ex-boyfriend will have to soon face his responsibilities as a father.

"... Especially because my baby needs a daddy: and no other girl will get in the way of that. I really do not care who he is with but all I know is that when my baby breathes air for the first time, [he] is going to have to man up whether he likes it or not :)," she writes to a friend online.

In an interview Friday, Maria Esther Galvan said her daughter was not pregnant, though they had earlier worried that she was. Autopsy results have not been released.

Galvan had hoped to move to Austin for college. She enjoyed the beach and break dancing, friends and family said. She loved to take photographs of herself and her friends. She was deeply religious.

"She was girl with lots of dreams," Maria Esther Galvan said, fighting back tears. "They have taken away her dreams and they have taken away mine as well. They have taken who I most loved, my daughter. ... I’m in immense pain."

Due to an editing error, Tiffany Galvan, a senior at Los Fresnos High School,  was misidentified as a freshman.

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