‘Killer Motive’: True story of firefighter who brutally murdered and dumped his fiancée’s body in a lake nine years ago

TEXAS: On July 6, 2011, investigators found an unknown body wrapped up in a tent and weighed down by cinder blocks and paint cans floating around in Lake Travis near Pace Bend Park in Texas. They found an undergarment with the body that led them to believe that it may have been a female victim. The body had been floating around for nine days and had been highly decomposed. The local police searched through missing persons to find a match. When they came up empty-handed, they decided to run the body’s prints. The body belonged to 22-year-old Veronica Navarro. As investigators further looked into her life, they found themselves more and more surprised. 

If you went by 22-year-old Navarro’s social media page, she seemed like a happy girl. She had met the man of her dreams and the two were happily engaged. She had always wanted to start a family and her firefighter fiancé Joe Derrick Carr, seemed like the perfect opportunity to make her white picket fence dreams come true. Navarro took care of Carr’s infant son that he had from his previous marriage and the two seemed really happy. So who could have killed her? 

They pressed her family for more information. They were devastated, but their first suspicion pointed to her past. Before Veronica had started seeing Carr, she had been seeing someone she had grown up with. A man named Chris Kashimba, who Navarro had met as a girl and who lived across the street from her aunt. A deeper probe found that she had left Kashimba for Carr. The young former couple had a tumultuous relationship. It was on-again, off-again and with Kashimba’s partying lifestyle there were always tensions between the two. 

At the time, he was their prime suspect. He had a motive. The police were looking into Kashimba and his alibi and investigating him when something else confirmed their suspicions. Only, it wasn’t about Kashimba. 

Navarro’s fiance, Carr had been arrested with a wad of cash, with no passport no luggage at the Canadian border while trying to flee. Around the same time, the police had acquired a search warrant for the couple’s home and what they found had been much more than a coincidence: paint cans and a similar tent lying around with similar knots as those found with the body. But that wasn’t all.

Police found that there were smashed photos of the two in the trash and multiple reports of Carr’s domestic violence in the past. He had brutally killed two of his ex-wife’s dogs because she had loved them more then she loved him. One puppy had been strangled while the other’s tail had been chopped off, the police had found in its investigations. Carr was controlling, abusive and had long struggled with anger and alcohol issues, his former girlfriends and dating partners had testified during the murder trial. The testimonies stated that Carr was jealous and moved through relationships at a fast pace, offering women cars and proposing within months.

The former firefighter was sentenced to 60 years in prison on February 12, 2014, for the murder of Veronica Navarro which he denies vehemently to this day, along with 20 years for tampering with evidence, to run concurrently. However, what was Carr’s motive? Carr’s own side of the chilling story will be featured on Oxygen’s ‘Killer Motive’ on Sunday, August 25 at 7 pm ET/PT. 

The eight-episode series is hosted by two award-winning journalists, NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk and Emmy Award winner Troy Roberts. 

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