Hours before a Houston woman’s family found her body in the trunk of her car Tuesday, her boyfriend was helping them search for her, police said. He was later charged with murder.
Ariel Cruz, 19, allegedly confessed to fatally shooting 21-year-old Idania Maria Campos Munoz and hiding her body in her black Honda Civic, authorities said.
Cruz Allegedly Shot Munoz After She Broke Up with Him
According to a bail motion, investigators said Cruz told them he shot Campos because she had broken up with him. Munoz was last seen dropping her sisters off at school about 7 a.m. Tuesday, police said, and she spoke to her mother around 8:20 a.m.
The family grew worried, however, when she stopped responding, and they tracked her phone to a neighborhood in southwest Houston, KTRK-TV reported. They found her car parked on a residential street with her phone and other belongings inside.
Her family called police, who left after taking a missing person report. Campos’ family remained, however, searching the area and questioning neighbors.
Munoz’s Body Found in the Trunk of Her Car
At around 5:40 p.m., her father broke one of the windows of her car, popped the trunk and found her body, police said. Munoz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cruz was “consoling” the family during the search, relatives told the Houston TV station, according to ABC13. During those frantic hours, Jennifer Campos Muñoz, one of the victims’ four younger sisters, told KHOU-TV that Cruz hugged them and “told us that he really loved her.”
“He was lying. He knew where she was the whole entire time.”
Police told KTRK reporters that Idania lived about 30 minutes from the neighborhood where they found her car. No shell casings were found at the scene, and police say they think Idania was killed somewhere else. An address listed for Cruz on court documents is about half a mile from where Campos’ car was parked.
Cruz is being held in Harris County Jail in Houston His bail has been set for $500,000. A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Thursday morning.
The Munoz family has set up a GoFundMe to raise funds to cover her memorial expenses.