HOUSTON, TX – A suspect has been taken into custody after a woman was found dead in her own car trunk in southwest Houston, allegedly hours after she was reported missing. As per local police, Ariel Cruz, 19, has been arrested and charged with murder. Cruz was reportedly romantically involved with the victim and has admitted to his involvement in her death, as revealed by Houston Police Department (HPD).
The deceased, a 21-year-old former student of Lamar High School and current Houston Community College student, was reported missing on Tuesday. Her body was located that evening in the trunk of a car parked on Indigo Street in the Meyerland area.
Family members, suspecting foul play, traced her phone to the said location. They found the family car locked, and Cruz was reportedly with the family during the search. Police initially arrived on the scene, conducted a cursory search, and left without finding anything suspicious.
Upon seeing that the missing woman had left her phone and personal belongings in the car, and after failing to obtain findings from two hours of door-to-door inquiries and reviews of surveillance footage, the family decided to engage a locksmith. As the locksmith was delayed, they decided to smash a window to gain access to inside of the car. This ultimately led to the discovery of the woman’s body in the trunk.
HPD Lt. Larry Crowson commented on the harrowing discovery made by the victim’s family, noting, “It’s a very devastating thing for them.” Cruz’s bond has been set at $600,000.