A missing Arizona woman was found de*ad inside the trunk of a car on Tuesday after police said her estra*nged boyfriend forced his way into her home and drove her body to California.
Richard Rodriguez, 34, was ar*rested in California and accused of mu*rder in connection to the disappearance and de*ath of his ex-girlfriend, Christi Romero, 54, according to a press release from the Holbrook, Arizona, police department. Her body was discovered inside the trunk of a car more than 550 miles from her home city.
Holbrook police say Rodriguez was given a restraining order on November 2 and was kicked out of the house he shared with Romero a few days before she went missing.
The Los Angeles Times reports that police were called to Romero’s home more than once while Rodriguez was living with her because of different financial disputes.
Romero wanted to kick Rodriguez out of the house on October 17, so Rodriguez called the police. In the end, they agreed to live together as long as they stayed in different rooms.
The last time Romero was seen was on November 1, the day before Rodriguez was taken out of the house. That’s when he told police he was going to hurt her and her car, according to Holbrook police.
The news source said Rodriguez denied the claim and later moved into an emergency shelter for homeless people.
Police say Romero’s family told Holbrook police on Monday that she was missing because she wasn’t answering her phone.
When police arrived at Romero’s house, they found that she and her car were gone. A search across the whole country was then started for Rodriguez, Romero, and Romero’s car. They also found signs that someone had broken into her house.
In a separate press release, Holbrook police said they thought Rodriguez had broken into Romero’s home and forced her to leave. They also said Romero had a 9mm handgun that wasn’t found at the scene of the crime but was thought to be with her ex-boyfriend.
Police said that Romero’s phone showed that his car was heading toward California, and they told police there about the situation.
The Huntington Beach Police Department in California was called to Rodriguez’s parents’ house on Tuesday because of a report of a family disturbance. Police said on Facebook Tuesday night that when they got there, they found Romero’s body in the trunk of a car.
Romero’s family shared their sadness over her d*eath on GoFundMe, which was set up to help pay for her funeral and get her body back to Arizona.
The fundraiser said, “We got the answers we didn’t want, and Christi is now at peace.” “Everything helps us get her home and buried right now; we just want her to be at peace.”