Ariel Cruz, 19, “assisted in the search” for his girlfriend Idania Campos after she went missing, the Houston Police Department tells PEOPLE
A Texas father made a heartbreaking discovery when he broke into his 21-year-old missing daughter's car on Tuesday evening and found her lifeless body inside the trunk.
Now Ariel Cruz, 19, is accused of murdering Idania Campos, Houston police announced in a news release. He was arrested on Tuesday and charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend.
Campos’ family members became concerned when they learned Campos didn’t show up at school on Tuesday. Her mother last spoke to her at about 8:20 a.m., ABC 13 reports. Her family went to her last-known location in Houston’s Meylerland neighborhood to look for her. When they found no sign of her, they called 911. Police said nothing seemed suspicious and took a missing person’s report, ABC 13 reports.
But later that day, around 5:40 p.m., her relatives got the shock of their lives when “a family member forced entry to the Honda, opened the trunk and found the female unresponsive,” authorities said in the release.
Neighbor Jenna Gonzalez gave Campos’ father a bat and a towel and helped him get into the car, ABC 13 reports.
“I popped the trunk, and there she was, just laying there," Gonzalez told ABC 13. "There was no way to save her. There was too much blood."
Houston Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced Campos deceased. She had signs of trauma to her face.
“Further investigation identified a suspect as Cruz, who was on the scene along with the family in their search for the victim,” authorities said in the release.
“He assisted with the search,” a HPD Public Information Officer told PEOPLE.
Cruz was detained and interviewed by homicide detectives. He allegedly confessed to his role in his ex-girlfriend’s death, ABC 13 and Click2Houston report, citing police.
"I guess because he couldn't have her, he didn't want us to have her either," Bobbie Munoz, Campos' aunt, told ABC 13.
He remains held at the Harris County Jail on a $600,000 bond.
It’s unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
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