Arizona man arrested after ex-girlfriend found dead in vehicle’s trunk in California

Nov 8, 2023, 1:06 PM

Richard, right, is accused of killing Christi, left...

Richard Paul Rodriguez from Holbrook, Arizona, (right), was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in California after he allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend, Christi Romero. (Facebook Photo/Holbrook Arizona Police Department)

(Facebook Photo/Holbrook Arizona Police Department)

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was arrested in California after he allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend and put her body in the trunk of her vehicle, authorities said Tuesday.

The body of 54-year-old Christi Romero was found by Huntington Beach Police around 5 p.m. Monday. She was reported missing earlier that day from her residence in Holbrook, about 90 miles east of Flagstaff, the Holbrook Arizona Police Department said.

Police responded to a missing person’s report at Romero’s residence Monday morning and found evidence of forced entry into her trailer. Romero was nowhere to be found.

How was the suspect from Arizona caught by police in California?

Authorities started looking for her ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Richard Paul Rodriguez of Holbrook. Police served Rodriguez an order of protection on Nov. 2 and he was removed from the residence he shared with Romero. He went to stay at the local mission, but personnel at the location said Monday that Richard has not been there in days.

Police said that cellular location data indicated Rodriguez was traveling on Interstate 10 to California.

A nationwide request to find Rodriguez, Romero and her vehicle was sent out, with special attention to California and a home in Huntington Beach.

On Monday, Rodriguez arrived to his parents’ residence in Huntington Beach, where police were called. They discovered Romero’s body in the trunk.

Rodriguez is being held in California on charges related to the incident.

Police in Holbrook and Huntington Beach are working with the FBI on the investigation.

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Arizona man arrested after ex-girlfriend found dead in vehicle’s trunk in California