Woman found dead in car trunk, ex-boyfriend charged

November 30, 2023

A young Houston woman was found dead in the trunk of her car hours after she was reported missing by her family.

The victim's jealous ex-boyfriend, 19-year-old Ariel Cruz, has been charged with the murder. Cruz was questioned and confessed to killing 21-year-old Idina Campos.

Woman found in trunk

The victim's family reported the woman missing when her mother lost touch Tuesday morning.

Using cellphone tracking, the family was led to her parked car, which was ominously empty - or so it seemed - with her phone still inside.

Cruz was with the family at the scene of the crime, police said. The family did not know what Cruz did - that their loved one was stuffed in the trunk like a spare tire.

"It’s despicable. It’s unimaginable that he would do this and hold us, and be with us while we cried, and we suffered while looking for her, knowing where she was the whole time," the victim's aunt, Bobby Munoz, said.

Amazingly, police were summoned to the scene and left without suspecting anything. There were no signs of forced entry.

"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.

Jilted ex went berserk...

The family called a locksmith, but he was taking time to show up.

Finally, Campos' father smashed a window and popped the trunk.

"'Here's a bat. Here's a towel.' So we broke the window open, unlocked the car. I popped the trunk, and there she was, just laying there," said resident Jenna Gonzalez. "There was no way to save her. There was too much blood."

There were signs of trauma on the victim's face. Police believe Cruz shot her dead at a separate location.

Cruz had spent time with the victim's family over the weekend, but the family said the suspect harbored resentment over a break-up.

"He wanted her for him and he wanted to talk to her all night long. She’d tell him I gotta go to school, I gotta go to work, and he was getting obsessed with her; and that’s when it ended," Munoz said.

Cruz was booked in Harris County jail with a $600,000 bond.

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