Body found in Kaplan canal identified, murder suspects arrested

KAPLAN, La. (KLFY) — A man whose body was found in a canal near Kaplan on April 26 has been identified, and two men have been arrested for murder, authorities said.

Upon completion of an autopsy, the victim was identified as Hector Velasquez Vargas, 55, a homeless man last known to be living in the Lafayette area. Vargas’s body was located floating in a canal south of West Liberty Farm Road south of Kaplan by a local farmer.

Officials said Vargas was shot numerous times and died of his wounds.

Gabriel Alavarez Montoya, 30, and Pablo Andrade Fernandez, 65, both of Lafayette, have been arrested in connection with Vargas’s death and charged with second degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Authorities said both suspects were located Monday and taken into custody without incident.  Both have been booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center awaiting transfer to the Vermilion Parish Correctional Center.

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Officials said both suspects are in the United States illegally due to their work visas expiring many years ago. Both are being held without bond.

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