Zoe Campos investigation: Suspect identified, charged with murder after human remains found
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - On the fifth anniversary of the day Zoe Campos went missing, a murder warrant was issued for her death, and the suspect is in custody.
Human remains were found buried in a backyard of a home in the 1900 block of 70th Street in Lubbock around 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. The suspect in custody has been identified, as 25-year-old Carlos Andrew Rodriquez. He has now been charged with murder.
Lubbock Police officials say around midnight the murder warrant was issued for Rodriguez. He has been charged in connection to the death of Zoe Campos.
On Friday afternoon, police told KCBD they brought an inmate to a house in the 1900 block of 70th Street. That man has been identified as Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been in jail after being convicted of stalking in a different case that happened in November 2017. He was awaiting his transport to prison, where he will serve a four year sentence, when new details in this investigation broke. He would have been eligible for parole after serving one year, 10 months and 22 days.
Officers are still on the scene now, and will continue to be into the weekend.
This discovery of human remains is part of the investigation into the disappearance of Zoe Campos, however, the remains have not been identified. Officials say they believe an entire human body was buried in the yard.
Chief Greg Stevens said the house where the bones were found is not the only place they’re investigating and they want to make sure their case is absolute.
Officials were not able to comment on the suspect’s relationship with Zoe Campos at this time.
Police confirm the bone found in the backyard of the home is related to the investigation into the disappearance of Zoe Campos, however, that bone was confirmed to not be a human bone. But the discovery of that bone led investigators to another area in the same backyard where human remains were found. Zoe went missing on Nov. 17, 2013.
A search warrant was served on Thursday, November 15 to search the inside of a house in the 1900 block of 70th Street. The search warrant says investigators are searching for blood evidence, trace evidence and human remains.
A man in police custody, now identified as Rodriquez, was being escorted around the house by police on Friday, Nov. 16. Officials say the man provided information to police directly related to the search for the remains of Zoe Campos. The man, who was in handcuffs, was led into the house in the 1900 block of 70th Street through a side gate.
The woman who lives in the house did not live there in 2013 when 18-year-old Zoe Campos went missing. She is currently staying in a hotel until the search is complete.
Since Nov. 7, when the first bone was found, investigators have been to the property with specialized equipment to search for other possible bones and/or evidence.
Just a few blocks away, Mounted Patrol officers with the Lubbock Police Department spent Wednesday afternoon searching an area between 66th Street and South Loop 289, just east of I-27. Officials with the Lubbock Police Department confirmed the search of that area was also part of the Zoe Campos investigation. That area has been secured since Wednesday and is still a part of the investigation.
Police expect more clues and evidence will be found in the field, which is less than a mile away from where the human remains were found.
Today is the fifth anniversary since Zoe Campos was last seen. She disappeared on November 17, 2013 at the age of 18.
On the evening of November 17, then 18-year-old Zoe was last seen on surveillance video with her sister at Copper Caboose Restaurant near Avenue Q. After dinner, Zoe and her sister went back to her apartment at 3532 50th Street. This was the last time family members saw Zoe.
According to police, at some point that night, Zoe left her apartment. She had plans to pick her mother up from work the next day on November 18th, but Zoe never arrived.
Her mother called police and reported her missing. Investigators were able to determine Zoe's last outgoing text message was to her mother at approximately 1:30 a.m. on November 18.
Investigators were able to track the text location to the area of Lowery Field. Three days after she went missing, Zoe’s aunt spotted her car being driven by an unknown male. She immediately began to follow the car but lost sight of the vehicle. A short while later, the car was found abandoned at Driftwood Apartments at 5501 Utica Avenue. It is still unclear who was driving the vehicle.
About a year and four months after Zoe went missing, her mother Melinda Campos and private detectives she hired organized a search party, to search around Lowery Field, since that is where her phone last pinged. Her phone could have been anywhere within a one-mile radius of Lowery Field. Search crews also were told a junk yard behind Jaguars, along Highway 87, needed to be checked thoroughly. The searches came up empty. But now, years later, a bone was found within that radius of where Zoe’s phone pinged.
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