A Texas man has pleaded guilty to murdering a young woman who was considered missing for years.
Carlos Rodriquez, 29, took an open plea in the Monday hearing, however, according to KAMC. That means he did not reach a deal with prosecutors. He faces up to life in prison for killing Zoe Campos, 18. The minimum sentence is five years.
Campos was reported missing on Nov. 19, 2013, two days after she did not show up to pick her up her mother from work, according to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Cops at the time said Rodriquez gave them a sworn statement, in which he claimed to have nothing to do with Campos’ disappearance, according to KAMC. Investigators did not find a gravesite at the home where he lived. But authorities took another look years later in 2018, when a jail inmate told them they had to “move the concrete.”
This inmate reportedly told investigators that Rodriquez had confessed to him about killing Campos and burying her body. At this time, Rodriquez no longer lived at the home in question. He was in jail for an unrelated stalking case regarding an ex-girlfriend. That ex-girlfriend reportedly claimed he had threatened her multiple times.
Another search of the property turned up Campos’ remains.
— KLBK News (@KLBKNews) August 15, 2022
Rodriquez soon confessed in a handwritten letter. He said he met Campos on Nov. 17, 2013. He claimed they hit it off, and went to his house, where they had sexual relations and used drugs. But Rodriquez claimed he did not plan on killing Campos. He insisted that he hallucinated using what he described as K2, synthetic marijuana.
Believing Campos was a demon, he choked her to death, he said.
“She kept saying things and I could hear her laughing, but my mind was somewhere else,” Rodriquez said in the letter, reported by KCBD in a 2019 report. “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,'” the letter continued. “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 [sic]. 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,” the letter concluded. “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.”
Authorities have said they found Rodriquez’s DNA on Campos’ black jacket, which they discovered in her abandoned car.
“To the family of Zoe Campos, I’m sorry for the pain, hurt, and suffering I caused,” Rodriquez wrote in his previous confession. “You have every right to be upset with me and consider me a worthless enemy who destroyed your lives by taking a life dear to you. Just remember don’t seek revenge, seek justice, and don’t hate your enemies. Love them and forgive them. Jesus came to show us how to love and forgive cause his father loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us so we wouldn’t have to die.”
[Screenshot via KAMC]
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