Krystle Concepcion Villanueva
Giovanna Lanae Hernandez
Sheriff: Mom murdered, mutilated daughter
Anita Miller - Managing Editor
Seasoned lawman Sheriff Gary Cutler called it one of the worst cases he’s ever seen and likely “one of the most horrific cases in the history of Hays County.”
Krystle Concepcion Villanueva, 24 of Kyle was arrested Thursday for capital murder in connection with the death of her 5-year-old daughter Giovanna Lanae Hernandez. A SWAT team called to Willow Terrace discovered the mutilated body of the young girl inside a mobile home that afternoon, and also took Villanueva into custody.
Villanueva’s father-in-law Eustorgio Arellano-Uresti, 58, called 911 minutes before 1 p.m. Deputies responding found him outside the mobile home with several stab wounds. He told them the woman responsible was inside with a young girl, and that he feared for the girl’s safety.
Based on his statements, Cutler said the decision was made to summon the SWAT team.
An emotional Cutler said at a Friday afternoon press conference that he was “not going into” details about the case. No motive has yet been determined and it will be weeks before tests to indicate whether Villanueva was under the influence of drugs or alcohol are concluded.
“We are just 24 hours deep into this. It’s very much an ongoing investigation,” Cutler said.
He said roads near the mobile home were still closed Friday afternoon as the investigation proceeded. “This is quite a crime scene,” he said.
District Attorney Wes Mau said although Villanueva is charged with capital murder, it’s too early to see if prosecutors will seek the death penalty. The attack on Arellano-Euresti brought an additional charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a second-degree felony.
Mau said a grand jury will make the final determination on specific charges.
Cutler said Arellano-Euresti was treated and released from the hospital.
The press conference was originally scheduled for 11 a.m. but reset for four hours later because the autopsy on the girl’s body ran long. It concluded that she died of stab wounds.
Cutler said there were several knives in the house but would not elaborate on a specific murder weapon or weapons.