Texts from a Killer?

Erik Arceneaux

On June 18th, 2018, the co-workers of paralegal Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez are concerned when the 29-year-old fails to show up for work. Maria, a single mother and long-time employee at a Houston law firm, makes a habit of arriving 15-20 minutes early to prepare the office for the day. Just before 9am, Maria’s boss and co-worker receive texts from Maria’s phone telling them she will be late. An hour later and throughout the day, they receive more texts saying that Maria needs to pick up her 3-year-old daughter from the baby sitter. Her co-workers are puzzled because the texts are not written in Maria’s normal texting style, and they are worried when Maria never shows up for work that day and doesn’t pick up her daughter at the babysitter’s. Maria’s family and friends start to search the neighborhood around Maria’s home and they find her empty truck parked a few blocks away. Investigators learn that Maria likely never wrote the texts that morning. Instead, they may have been written and sent by Maria’s trainer and boyfriend, Erik Arceneaux. They track Arceneaux’s movements for the day that Maria disappeared and discover that he purchased a chain saw and large plastic trash bags at the local Home Depot. Convinced that Erik Arceneaux killed Maria and disposed of her body, an arrest warrant is issued for Arceneaux, but he flees the Houston area before he can be apprehended. Where is Erik Arceneaux?

Erik Arceneaux is black male, 48 years old, five foot eight inches, and weighs approximately 160 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. Crime Stoppers of Houston may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of Erik Arceneaux. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org. All tipsters remain anonymous. You must contact Crime Stoppers to be eligible for a cash reward.

UPDATE: Erik Arceneaux has been arrested and charged with the murder and dismemberment of Maria Rodriguez. Members of the U.S. Marshals’ Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force made the arrest in a Walmart parking lot in Houston on September 14th, 2023. They have not yet said how they tracked Arceneaux down, but he is being held without bond.

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  1. William Mitchell

    This is just a shot in the dark idea from me, but would here be any chance that the remains could’ve been hidden somewhere in the house? Perhaps in a crawl space or attic? I’m sure if done correctly, the trash bags could be used in a way that would keep any bad smells from escaping the bags so it would go undetected. I’m not sure if this might help any but it was an idea I thought about for a little while now.


  2. Javier

    Eric Arcenaux has been arrested on Sep 24 2023. “Records state he was arrested and booked into Harris County jail”. Bound has been denied and now he is waiting for trial.


  3. gw

    LORD, make Eric Arcenaux be found immediately, he can hide from man, but not from You, reveal him LORD in Christ Jesus’ name & may Maria’s family find their peace in You. in Christ Jesus’ name amen.


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