Search Under Way In 8-Year-Old Boating Fatality Case

8:27 p.m. Dec. 7, 2010 — Update: A charge of manslaughter has been filed in Burnet County against Travis Aaron Marburger, 36, of Bertram. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony. The search for more evidence will continue Wednesday.

Media Contact: TPWD News Business Hours, 512-389-8030

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BURNET – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens have executed an evidentiary search warrant at a rural residence in Burnet County in connection with the department’s ongoing investigation into the 2002 death of Justin Wayne Roberts, who died in a boat crash on Lake Buchanan that injured two others.

A 36-year-old Bertram man was arrested at 1:37 p.m. Tuesday for possession of a vessel without a hull number, a Class B Misdemeanor. While this arrest was not related to the 2002 boating incident, Tuesday afternoon a search for evidence was underway on the man’s property as the investigation into the 8-year-old case continues.

A tip to TPWD’s Operation Game Thief hotline on Nov. 22 provided the initial information that led to Tuesday’s search.

An arrest warrant on the misdemeanor charge had been issued earlier in the day Tuesday in connection with the Monday night discovery of a jet ski on the man’s property that lacked a hull identification number.

Roberts, an 18-year-old Lampasas High School football player, died in the early morning hours of May 3, 2002 when another boat struck a boat with Roberts and two others aboard. Injured in the crash where 18-year-old Kelly Jean Corbin, Roberts’ girlfriend, and a fellow Lampasas football player, Jim Edward Daniels, then 17.

Corbin and Daniels later told game wardens that they had been out in Daniels’s boat fishing for white bass and were on their way to shore when a boat struck their vessel nearly head on at a high rate of speed. Eight hours passed before game wardens found Corbin and Daniels’s partially submerged boat. Daniels had been thrown from the boat and was later located floating in the lake, as was Roberts’s body.

The Burnet County sheriff’s office and Texas Department of Public Safety were assisting TPWD in Tuesday’s operation. Investigators urge anyone else who may have information on this case to contact TPWD at (800) 792-GAME or (512) 389-4848.