Karl Terry Karbowski

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Above: Karbowski, circa 2002


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 3, 2002 from Houston, Texas
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: February 23, 1939
  • Age: 63 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'7 - 5'9, 145 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, blue eyes. Karbowski wears eyeglasses and is balding. He may be known by his middle name, Terry.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A burgundy shirt, blue jeans and dark-colored canvas slip-on shoes.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Karl was last seen at his office in the Reeveston area of Houston, Texas. He was reported missing by his employees on August 5 when he didn't show up for work. Karl owned a fence company in Reeveston. On August 12, nine days after his disappearance, Karl's Ford F-250 was found abandoned at the corner of Wayside and Interstate 10 in Houston. There was no sign of him at the scene and there were indications that a struggle had taken place.

    On November 18, four months after Karl's disappearance, his estranged wife, Mariela Quinonez Karbowski, was charged in his murder. Mariela went to the police and confessed to the crime. She claimed Karl visited her on the day of his disappearance and she beat him to death with a two-slice toaster. Then she dumped the body, the toaster, and a gun into the Trinity River. The river is close to the River Bend Tavern, a bar near the Interstate 90 bridge which is owned by Karl and managed by his son. Police uncovered unspecified DNA evidence to support Mariela's confession, but the charges against her were eventually dropped for lack of evidence.

    Karl remains missing. He owned the Oasis Tavern in Liberty, Texas in addition to the River Bend Tavern. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Harris County Sheriff's Department


    Source Information
    Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team
    Texas Department of Public Safety
    The Victoria Advocate
    KSHN Radio


    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated October 24, 2010; details of disappearance updated.

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