Teen charged with ex-girlfriend’s murder after body found inside her trunk

Posted at 1:01 PM, December 1, 2023 and last updated 10:21 AM, December 1, 2023

HOUSTON (Court TV) —  Murder charges have been filed against a Texas teen who admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend after her father found her lifeless body inside the trunk of her car.

Ariel Cruz

A booking photo of Ariel Cruz, 19, who is charged with the murder of his 21-year-old ex-girlfriend, whose identity is pending verification by forensic analysts. (Houston Police Dept.)

Family members began searching the neighborhood after learning that the 21-year-old victim had not shown up for school on the morning of Nov. 28, a Houston Police Dept. press release stated. Her family saw her black Honda Civic parked in the street and began searching the area. Her ex-boyfriend, 19-year-old Ariel Cruz, was also on the scene with the family, seemingly assisting in the search.

After finding no signs of her, the family reported her missing to the Houston Police Department.

Later that same evening, around 5:40 p.m., the victim’s father forced entry into his daughter’s car, opened the truck and found her there, unresponsive, according to an HPD press release.

Paramedics pronounced the young woman dead at the scene and reported signs of trauma to her face.

The identity of the victim, 21, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Cruz was detained and interviewed by homicide detectives.  He confessed to his role in his girlfriend’s death and was subsequently charged with her murder in the 184th Texas District Court.

Cruz is being held at Harris County Jail on a $500,000 bail.