2 unrelated homicides in 2 days: Travis County Sheriff’s Office investigating

Travis County

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two unrelated homicides in two days, making them the county’s 10th and 11th homicides this year. 

TCSO Senior Public Information Officer Kristen Dark gave an update Thursday afternoon from one of the homicide scenes. 

Cheddar Loop Road

The first homicide took place Wednesday at an apartment complex in the 1800 block of Cheddar Loop Road, Dark said. That’s near Interstate 35 just north of Wells Branch Parkway.  

At 11 a.m., deputies received a check welfare call. They discovered a man’s body inside a car that was parked in a garage, according to Dark. The victim was identified by TCSO on Dec. 13 as Joseph Neal, 36.

Deputies got a search warrant to enter the residence later on Wednesday evening. They thought it was a suicide at first, but evidence they found indicated Neal was murdered, Dark said. 

TCSO said Neal died from a gunshot wound, but a full autopsy is pending.

Detectives believe the victim knew the suspect. There’s no danger to the public, Dark said. Detectives are interviewing those close to Neal and have developed leads, according to a Dec. 13 update.

Buffalo Ridge Drive

The second homicide took place Thursday morning at a home on Buffalo Ridge Drive in Manchaca. That’s west of I-35 and east of Onion Creek.

At 10 a.m., deputies responded to a check welfare call after a neighbor reported boxes from deliveries were piling up in front of the home. They were concerned something was wrong with the resident, Dark said. 

Deputies looked through the windows and saw circumstances that prompted them to enter the home. That’s where they found the body of a woman in her late 50s, Dark said. The woman hasn’t been identified yet. 

They determined she didn’t die of natural causes, and this was a homicide, according to TCSO. 

A search warrant was obtained and carried out Thursday afternoon, but the scene is still active. Dark said the medical examiner will be arriving soon. 

  • Travis County deputies investigate a woman's death as a homicide on Buffalo Ridge Drive in Manchaca on Dec. 9, 2021. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • Travis County deputies investigate a woman's death as a homicide on Buffalo Ridge Drive in Manchaca on Dec. 9, 2021. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • Travis County deputies investigate a woman's death as a homicide on Buffalo Ridge Drive in Manchaca on Dec. 9, 2021. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)
  • Travis County deputies investigate a woman's death as a homicide on Buffalo Ridge Drive in Manchaca on Dec. 9, 2021. (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)

The investigation is still in its early stages, Dark said, and detectives are trying to figure out a timeline of events by interviewing neighbors and contacting family members. 

Investigators believe the victim knew the suspect in this case as well. The public isn’t in danger, TCSO said.

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