Carlos Rodriquez sends handwritten letter detailing Zoe Campos’ murder

Updated: Jul. 11, 2019 at 10:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In a letter addressed “dear people,” Carlos Rodriquez admits he killed Zoe Campos in 2013.

Rodriguez said, “after five years of fear, guilt and shame I can finally make peace with myself and God. I want the people in my community and on social media to know not just part of the truth, but the whole truth.”

Zoe Campos has been missing since November 2013
Zoe Campos has been missing since November 2013

He begins at November 17, 2013 when he first met Zoe. He goes on to explain his initial attraction and desire to get to know her.

He walks through how he invited her to his house, his excitement when she arrived. How she followed him to his bedroom, and how one thing led to another and they had sexual relations.

He goes on to tell how he and Zoe smoked cigarillos containing K-2 synthetic marijuana.

Rodriquez said he was losing track of time and spacing out, hallucinating that Zoe was a demon. It was then he choked her from behind and killed her.

In his letter, Rodriquez said his intentions were to meet Zoe and have a good time. He wanted to see if they could be friends or more.

“I’m not a murderer,” Rodriquez said. “I simply committed a reckless act five years ago that ended tragic.”

That’s why, he said, he’s asking the Court, the District Attorney. and his community to please give him a chance to learn.

I’m not asking for a dismissal, I just want a fair judgement.” Rodriguez said. “Please reconsider me and have mercy on me.”

In the letter, Rodriquez asks readers to do their kids, friends and people dear to them a favor. He said “educate them on this k-2 synthetic marijuana. Please, it will save everyone suffering, pain and most importantly it can save lives.”

In November 2018, skeletal human remains were found in a backyard in the 1900 block of 70th Street. That night, Rodriquez was arrested and charged with murder. 18-year-old Zoe Campos was last seen on Nov. 17, 2013 by her family. Nearly five years to the day, her remains were found.

The letter from Rodriquez says he and Campos smoked K2 and he started to lose track of time and spacing out. “She kept saying things and I could hear her laughing, but my mind was somewhere else. When I turned to face her, her face looked different. She looked very weird in an evil way and I started to panic. But I couldn’t move. I wanted to tell her but I didn’t want to sound weak or embarrassed. So I started to sweat a lot and I could feel my heart pounding so hard in my chest that I couldn’t speak or swallow because of this huge knot in my throat. Zoe kept grinning and asking me if I was okay, but I was certain I was dying. That’s when I started to get light headed and my vision started to black out. Then Zoe said ‘you’re f***ing tripping.' And when she opened her mouth to laugh her face started to melt and that’s when I struck her. She got up and I heard a demonic scream. I remember her running to the door and so I grabbed what appeared to be a demon from behind in a rear naked choke. I don’t know how long I was choking her gut. When I let go, I started to come back. I started to realized what had happened and my whole world started to crumble. Yes I hid the body and I had to live with this guilt and fear for 5 long years. But things ain’t always what they appear to be and with that being said I would like to say that I’m not a murderer because never in my right state of mind will I have committed such a horrific act.”

Rodriquez’s attorney, Charles Blevins, requested his statement be included in this report.

By covering this case the media is playing an important role in our democracy—checking on the health of our justice system and ensuring the community stays informed. Justice must be done and justice must be seen to be done. When a case such as this one garners this much attention it often sets a “measuring stick” for what justice should be—what is justice for Carlos and what is justice for Zoe Campos—this is the role the media has.

My role in representing Carlos is to ensure justice is done and the integrity of the case is not compromised. I will not vouch for the veracity of the letter. Carlos is young and accused of something heinous. To say he is in fear of what the future might hold is an understatement, and what he writes out of that fear should be met with skepticism. Carlos will no longer cause confusion by writing to the media or speaking about the case.

I want to thank the media for continuing to be an important part of democracy as they are needed now more than ever. However, to uphold the integrity of the courts, to ensure Carlos receives a fair trial and for respect to the family of Zoe Campos, I have self-imposed a “gag order” in discussing the case with the media.

Thank you, Charles Blevins

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.

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.”

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.

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