Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

An arrest has been made after a family made a devastating discovery while looking for a loved one who disappeared on Tuesday. A 21-year-old Texas woman’s body was found inside the trunk of her own car in Houston, according to reports.

According to court records, 19-year-old Ariel Cruz has been arrested and charged with the murder of Idania Campos. Documents say he shot and killed her.

Family members said Cruz was at the scene, consoling the family, for most of the day on Tuesday while police investigated. They described Cruz as a good friend of Campos and said he was at the family’s house over the weekend. Houston police described the victim as Cruz’s girlfriend.

According to Cruz’s bail motion, he killed Campos because she broke up with him in the past.

The family said Cruz was taken into custody for questioning, and investigators called them early Wednesday morning to say he had confessed to Campos’ death and was charged with murder.

He was booked into the Harris County Jail around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. His bond was set at $600,000.

Houston police said the Campos’ family tracked her phone to the Meyerland area on Tuesday, leading them to her car.

Investigators asked anyone who lives in Meyerland, specifically along Indigo Street near Braesmont Drive, to check their security cameras between 8:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.

The family told HPD they couldn’t get ahold of her after they last saw her in bed around 7 a.m., and Campos’ mother last spoke to her around 8:20 a.m.

Campos shared her phone’s location with a friend, so her family used that information to track her phone down. That’s when they discovered her car parked in the 5400 block of Indigo Street in Meyerland.

The family called police, but investigators said nothing seemed suspicious and the car didn’t look like it had been broken into. Campos’ phone was just sitting inside.

HPD officers took a missing person’s report and left the scene.

“Of course, if the family thought she was in the car, of course they would have made forced entry, but at this point, they just thought it was left there. Nobody at that point thought she was inside the trunk,” Lt. Alias Smith said.

Meanwhile, the victim’s family stayed at the scene and called a locksmith to get inside the car. HPD said it was taking the locksmith a while to arrive, so the victim’s father decided to break a window to get inside the car around 5:40 p.m.

The family popped the trunk, and that’s when they discovered Campos’ body. HPD then returned to the scene.

Investigators said they found blood in the trunk. HPD said Campos had signs of trauma to her face, but noted that they didn’t find any shell casings at the scene.

Smith said it’s her opinion that Campos was killed somewhere else and then left in her car on Indigo Street. Police said her family lives about 30 minutes away from the area.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |