mugshot of Jeffery Lee Devorah

Bone fragments found in a burn pit behind a Texas home likely belong to a woman and mother who vanished nearly four years ago, KENS-TV reports.

That woman’s boyfriend is now charged with her murder.

Earlier this month, police arrested 43-year-old Jeffery Lee Devorah for murder in connection with the death of 37-year-old Tiffany Lynette Garza, who vanished in 2019.

Garza’s mother, Lilly Morua, reported her daughter missing on April 26, 2019. Then in July of that year, police received a tip alleging that Garza had been killed at a residence in the city of Poteet, about 30 miles south of San Antonio.

Investigators scoured the property and found a substantial amount of blood evidence linked to Devorah and Garza, according to KSAT-TV. Forensic analysis indicated that blood found at the home belonged to Garza after comparing it with DNA from Morua and Garza’s child, Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward said in a news release.

Police also found human bones and bone fragments in a burn pit behind the house. DNA could not be retrieved from those materials because they were burned so severely, but analysis indicated that they belonged to a woman around Garza’s age, the Pleasanton Express reports.

Devorah had previously told police in an unrelated investigation that Garza had been living at the home but that he didn’t know anything about what might have happened to her. Records show law enforcement had responded previously to the address for matters involving Garza.

Police believe Devorah murdered Garza between March 28, 2019, and April 4, 2019. A motive has not been released and it is not clear why there was a delay in bringing the charges.

Morua, Garza’s mother, said her daughter’s disappearance has been devastating.

“I can’t sleep,” Morua told KENS-TV. “I’ve just been worried sick to my stomach.”

Devorah is being held at the Atascosa County jail on a charge of murder. His bond was set at $500,000.

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[Feature Photo: Jeffery Lee Devorah/Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office]

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