HOUSTON, TX – A 19-year-old Houston man was arrested after a family’s search for their missing loved one led to their discovery of her body in the trunk of her car. Ariel Cruz, the 21-year-old victim’s boyfriend, was taken into custody after being charged with murder.
Idania Campos, the young woman that Cruz allegedly shot to death, had ended their relationship prior to her death, according to Cruz’s bail motion. He was present at the scene, offering comfort to the family throughout Tuesday’s police investigations, subsequently raising suspicions.
The family initiated their search for the missing Campos by tracking her phone, which led them to Meyerland. Her car was found there, and while it didn’t appear to have been subjected to forced entry, Campos’ phone was visible inside. Police officers took a missing person’s report but left the site after not finding anything suspicious.
However, Campos’s family stayed at the scene and, failing to secure a prompt locksmith’s services, shattered a car window to gain access. Upon opening the trunk, Campos’ lifeless body was found. The family’s horrifying discovery prompted the police’s return. The presence of blood in the trunk and signs of facial trauma on Campos corroborated the determination of her death as a homicide.
A lieutenant from the Houston Police Department, Alias Smith, suspects Campos was killed elsewhere before her body was abandoned in her car on Indigo Street. Ongoing investigations currently involve Meyerland residents checking their security footages from between 8:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
Cruz was booked into Harris County Jail around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with his bond set to $600,000.