Texas mom of 4 found hanging from dock in staged suicide: police

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The death of a Texas mother of four who was found hanging from a dock last month is now being investigated as a homicide, police said this week.

Investigators believe Giselle Tapia-Salazar, 30, was positioned to make it look like she had died by suicide, and police have now identified two persons of interest in the case, according to media reports.

Tapia-Salazar’s body was discovered in League City on May 31 hanging from a rope near a boat where she lived with her boyfriend, James Hart. 

Police said they believe she was murdered and then tied to the dock.

“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” Hart told KHOU of Tapia-Salazar’s death.

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Hart has staunchly denied any role in the alleged crime.

“It feels like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. I didn’t have anything to do with it and I never would have. I loved Giselle more than anything in the world. We were together 24/7. I want justice for Giselle and for myself.” 

Surveillance cameras in the area had also been tampered with. One had been turned off while another had been turned in a different direction, the outlet reported.

League City police said Hart became distraught after being informed of the discovery and initially refused to come out of his boat.

He told detectives that she had left their bedroom to use the bathroom the day of her disappearance and that he never saw her again.

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Giselle Tapia-Salaza

A neighbor found Tapia-Salazar’s body partially submerged in the water and noted that her arm was in an unusual position.

“Because of the position of her arm, we believe she probably passed away somewhere else,” League City Police Lieutenant Eric Cox told KHOU. “Rigor mortis set in and then when she was moved, her arms stayed in that position.” 

The neighbor, Christian Allen, also suspected foul play.

“I didn’t buy the whole suicide thing. I want them to catch them because my kids are here, and I don’t want to live near a murderer,” he told KHOU.

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Texas woman stares into camera.

Tapia-Salazar’s brother, Nathan Paz, launched a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses and to support her four kids.

“Giselle was the most charismatic person you could ever meet, sharing a smile and making a friend of everyone she came across” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Giselle always looked for the best in people, even when they didn’t deserve her kindness.”

Her sister, Esperanza Alegria, also suspected that her sibling had been murdered.

“I just want everyone to know my sister didn’t do this to herself,” she told ABC13. “She didn’t commit suicide. We just want justice for her. We want whoever is responsible, who did this to my sister, we want them to get charged for what they did to her.”

Investigators are still determining a cause of death in the case as they continue their probe.

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