Graham Children Murdered, Father Arrested

Gabriel Armandariz
Gabriel Armandariz

A Graham father has been charged with Capital Murder, accused of killing his own children. The crime has shaken-up the town.

According to a press release, 28-year-old Gabriel Armandariz was arrested overnight. Law enforcement said they began searching for Armandariz and his young children, ages 2 years and 6 months, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Officials said Graham police responded to a call in the 300 block of Third Street to investigate a family's concern over the children. After speaking with the family, Graham police initiated a search with the Texas Rangers, The Texas Game Warden and the Young County Sheriff's Office. The Young County Sheriff tells Newschannel 6 Armandariz called 911 and said he had killed his children. The sheriff told us he believes the bodies of the children were found under the house. Game wardens arrested Armandariz near FM 209 and Highway 67.

The Sheriff believes the home belongs to a relative of Armandariz. Neighbors tell us the father had only been living there for about three weeks.

The Graham Police Department and the Texas rangers are investigating. Armandariz has a lengthy criminal past. Public records show that he was charged with Interfering with an Emergency Call in 2009, charged with Failure to Identify in 2005 and Possession in 2002. Records show he served time in prison.

Friends, neighbors and even strangers came to build a makeshift memorial out of teddy bears and flowers at the house. Among them was Leighann Garcia. She has lost a friend to violence in the past, and the murders hit close to home. "Its just an indescribable feeling of shock, you know. Its a combination of sadness and anger," said Garcia.

She has faith that all will be well for the family. "I'm a firm believer is God, Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. I know that he will comfort the mother he has mercy and compassion," she said.

As the shrine to the memory of the two children continued to grow, Garcia came back and was seen praying with the family, trying to bring them comfort.

Newschannel 6 did hear from family of the children. They held a vigil for the children Thursday night at the house.

Armandariz is jailed on $1.5 million bond in Young County.

Two people who work with the children's mother in Sudan say they saw cell phone pictures of the children from Armandariz -- her ex-boyfriend -- Wednesday.

In Texas, a defendant convicted of capital murder can be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

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Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6