Jury finds man accused of killing, dismembering, burning remains of his ex-girlfriend guilty of murder

Tarnava could face punishment of up to life in prison in connection with shooting death of Marisol Klingelhofer in 2021

SAN ANTONIO – A man who was accused of killing, dismembering and burning the remains of his ex-girlfriend was found guilty Friday.

Jurors deliberated for a little over an hour before returning their unanimous verdict against Andres Tarnava, who was charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of Marisol Klingelhofer in April 2021.

The defendant had no reaction after the judge read the verdict.

Tarnava could face a maximum punishment of life in prison. A judge will determine his fate at a later date.

In Day 2 of the trial on Thursday, the jury saw video of Tarnava confessing to killing Klingelhofer and saw up-close two barrels that he’s accused of using to burn her body.

A month after Klingelhofer was reported missing in the spring of 2021, Tarnava was detained as a person of interest in her disappearance.

While Tarnava was being interrogated by Texas Ranger Jesse Perez, he admitted to shooting Klingelhofer four times in the face and explained his motive for doing so.

Tarnava told Perez that he fatally shot Klingelhofer because he wanted her to pay for allegedly stealing his father’s military ID and Social Security card.

“You aren’t just going to take something from me and just let it go,” Tarnava said in the interrogation, which was shown to the jury.

The defendant said he threw the gun away and took Klingelhofer’s body to his property off Luckey Road in south Bexar County, where he burned her body.

“You burned her? When you burned her, did you have to do it in pieces? Did you cut her?” Perez asked Tarnava.

“I didn’t cut her up. Whole,” the defendant responded.

The jury was shown two barrels that were found on Tarnava’s property and pictures of small fragments of bones that were in the barrels.

When asked if he was remorseful for his actions, Tarnava said, “My dad was my world and I would do it again.”

In Day 1 of the trial on Tuesday, two men who said they witnessed the shooting in April 2021 testified against Tarnava.

Ruben Aguello, a friend of the victim, said that he and Klingelhofer were talking and drinking in a pickup truck when he noticed Tarnava come toward them with a gun. Aguello said he jumped out of the vehicle, but Klingelhofer didn’t.

“I saw him pull out something, looked like a gun, and shot her twice,” Aguello said. “I heard her say, ‘No, no.’ He shot her once and (I) heard her again and he shot her again and didn’t hear nothing.”

Another witness and friend of the victim who told a similar story was Carlos Hernandez.

Hernandez said that the defendant shot Klingelhofer three or four times. Hernandez also testified that Tarnava threatened him and Aguello not to say anything.

“He was scaring us not to say anything and we stayed silent. It’s a scary feeling, you don’t know what to do,” Hernandez said.

You can learn more about the case below.

Andres Tarnava on trial for brutal murder of San Antonio woman. (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)


About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

Recommended Videos