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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Members of the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection organize a group of migran...

Associated Press

Smugglers are bringing migrants to a remote Arizona border crossing, overwhelming US agents

With migrants crossing daily, the U.S. shut down the nearby crossing near Lukeville to free up officers to help with transportation.

9 minutes ago

Kris Mayes, Arizona Attorney General...

Arizona Attorney General Mayes launches investigation into gift card cloning

Arizona AG Kris Mayes launched an investigation into an organized retail theft scheme, his office announced Friday.

2 hours ago

James Osgood, Silver Alert...

Silver Alert issued for 67-year-old man in Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Safety issued a Silver Alert for 67-year-old James Osgood, who went missing on Sunday.

2 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department, file)...

Police identify teen boy who died after shooting in central Phoenix

A teenage boy who was shot and later died in central Phoenix on Saturday afternoon has been identified, according to Phoenix Police. 

7 hours ago

Solar panels...

Damon Allred

Gila River Indian Community to receive solar panels over canals

The Biden-Harris Administration will give $5.65 million to construct and install solar panels over the Casa Blanca Canal.

10 hours ago

Taco Viva...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Real estate investor to open drive-thru Taco Viva restaurant in Phoenix

Taco Viva, a new restaurant founded by the managing director of a Scottsdale real estate investment firm, is set to open in early 2024.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @iamdamonallred...

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

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