Warrant shows Zoe Campos murder suspect choked, killed her in his house

Charged with murder in connection to the Zoe Campos investigation. Zoe was reported missing on...
Charged with murder in connection to the Zoe Campos investigation. Zoe was reported missing on Nov. 17, 2013. Her remains were found nearly exactly five years later in 2018.(Lubbock County Detention Center)
Updated: Nov. 19, 2018 at 10:43 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A search warrant shows that Carlos Rodriquez, the 25-year-old Lubbock man who is suspected of murdering 18-year-old Zoe Campos in November of 2013, admitted to murdering Campos and burying her body in his backyard.

Campos was last seen on Nov. 17, 2013 by her family and has not been found. On Friday night, skeletal human remains were found in a backyard in the 1900 block of 70th Street and later that night Rodriquez was arrested and charged with murder in connection to Campos' disappearance.

A search warrant obtained by police shows that officials originally questioned Rodriquez on Nov. 25, 2013 and were told he met Campos through a mutual friend but had nothing to do with her disappearance. But on Dec. 9, 2013 police questioned Rodriquez again, and were told he had a conversation with Campos and met up with her at his house at 1924 70th St. to smoke marijuana.

“On November 17, 2013, Carlos lived at 1924 70th Street and provided that address to investigators in his sworn statements,” the warrant stated. “He lived at the address until approximately the latter part of 2014.”

The house that Rodriquez lived in is a rent house and has had various tenants since Campos' disappearance.

Police were able to pin Campos' cellphone location back to the area Rodriquez lived and cell phone data showed his house was the last “known and confirmed location," according to the warrant.

In 2014 cadaver dogs with the Crosby County Sheriff’s Office tracked the scent of a cadaver throughout Rodriquez’s house, backyard and alley. That area was visually searched but no grave site was located.

Throughout 2015 and 2016 more interviews were conducted with Rodriquez and he changed his story again and said Campos did go into his house to smoke marijuana and he tried to stop her. Later in December of 2017, Rodriquez said Campos came into his bedroom, but claimed he did not touch her.

In March an inmate inside the Lubbock County Detention Center told police he had contact with Rodriquez and was told, “they’ve searched the land already, they’re not gonna find the body until they move the concrete.”

Later, in July another detention center inmate told detectives he had information that only Rodriquez would know.

“This informant also provided information not released to the media that only the person involved with her disappearance would know,” the warrant stated. “This informant further provided information that Carlos had hid Zoe’s body in the backyard of 1924 70th Street.”

That inmate was later interviewed on Nov. 6, confirming the details to police. The next day cadaver dogs from the same group used in 2014 were taken to the house and detected the presence of human remains.

Bones were found and were first thought to be human, it was later acknowledged by police those bones were from an animal. However, detectives with LPD confronted Rodriquez about the bones -- he requested legal counsel and that ended the interview.

“Through subsequent jail correspondence and phone calls, Carlos indicated that he had told someone what happened and that person had ‘snitched.’ He told his mother in a phone call that he would tell her what happened at some time in the future,” the warrant stated. “Carlos Rodriquez did not deny that Zoe Campos' was in the backyard. He in fact, seemed certain of that fact that Zoe Campos' had been located in the backyard of their previous residence.”

On Friday, a deputy told detectives Rodriquez wished to speak to them and gave a new story to Campos' disappearance.

Rodriquez said, according to the warrant, that he met with her on Nov. 18, 2013 in his house after meeting through a mutual friend. Both smoked synthetic marijuana and in doing so, he lost his temper and hit Campos in the face. He then placed her in a “rear-naked choke,” and strangled her.

He then dug a grave in his backyard and buried her there, where she remained for several months. Rodriquez then drove Campos' car to the Driftwood Apartments at 5501 Utica Ave., where she lived, and was almost caught by her aunt.

After a few months, Rodriquez felt he needed to move Campos' body and placed her in a different part of the backyard inside of a deeper hole. Rodriquez then went with officers and detectives to the backyard and showed them where she was buried.

About an hour later, officials were able to find human remains.

As of now, police and other medical officials have been unable to officially determine who the remains belong to. Further details regarding Campos' disappearance are said to be unveiled during a news conference with the Lubbock Police Department but that has yet to be scheduled.



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