Fugitive Erik Arceneaux Is Wanted For Murder Of Girlfriend In Houston, TX

Erik Arceneaux speaks English and Spanish and has close ties to Louisiana. If you know where he’s hiding, text our hotline 24/7: 833-78-7783 (3-PURSUE).

August 18, 2021

Erik Arceneaux [Houston PD]

Erik Arceneaux [Houston PD]

By: Michelle Sigona

On June 21, 2018, a hardworking mother, Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez vanished. The aspiring attorney didn’t show up to pick up her young daughter at a Houston, TX daycare, she also missed a daily meet with her sister after work.

As the family began to make calls and put the pieces together later that evening, they realized Maria also did not make it to her job at a local law firm earlier that day either. Maria’s co-worker, Brenda Lopez, said she received a number of odd text messages from her friend, even one saying she would be late that day, but Maria never showed.

Brenda also revealed that in another text message around 6:18 p.m. Maria said she was sorry she didn’t make it into the office and that she was being followed by two men in a red truck - either two white or two Hispanic men. Maria said she would call her when she arrived at a “safe place,” but the phone call never came.

Maria’s family said there is no way she would ever leave her daughter Destiny behind. Destiny has a genetic condition impacting her legs and muscles. Maria lived every moment for her daughter.

Gloria Jimenez, Maria’s sister, said she always met up with her sister after work every evening, but that day, Maria did not show up at their normal meeting spot. Gloria reached out by phone, but Maria never responded to her text message.

On the evening of June 21st everyone was trying to reach Maria, but her phone was turned off. Gloria knew it was a serious situation and that evening around 9:30 p.m. she went to the police to file a missing persons report.

As investigators pieced together Maria’s last steps, they located her car. Not only did they find the vehicle only three blocks from her home, but it was empty. Houston Police Detective Mark Condon said Maria’s phone, purse and keys were gone. As video was pulled from the local area, they noticed a black male walking from the car toward Erik Arceneaux’s home.

Family, friends and detectives learned that Maria was dating Arceneaux. No one knew about their relationship. When detectives arrived at Arceneaux’s home, he was cooperative and also seemed concerned because Maria was supposed to pick him up that morning and drop him off at a job interview. Arceneaux claimed he was in a relationship with Maria for six months - but this was news to everyone who knew Maria. No one knew about her relationship with Arceneaux.

Maria’s face was on the local news, volunteers were out helping and Erik Arceneaux was also assisting with the searches. But as time passed, and Arceneaux’s lengthy criminal history was revealed, he retained an attorney and stopped cooperating.

Investigators couldn’t immediately learn more about where Maria and Arceneaux’s phones were pinging on the day when Maria went missing, because it took 90 days for those records to come back.

The case was standing still, until those records could be revealed. When he phone history was finally brought forward it showed Maria was likely at Arceneaux’s home that morning and her phone was with him all day. Maria’s phone was even likely on Arceneaux, according to investigators, when her car was dumped and the man on camera was seen walking away. The person in the video, investigators believe, was Arceneaux. The phone was traced directly back to his residence.

Later on that same day, authorities learned Maria’s phone was also at a local Home Depot. Arceneaux’s phone and Maria’s phone were both at the Home Depot together - but Maria was not seen on camera. There is however video surveillance of Arceneaux purchasing two items: an electric chainsaw and trashbags.

These images provided enough probable cause to initiate a search inside Arceneaux’s home where DNA evidence was recovered. The evidence located, according to detectives, suggests Maria was likely murdered, possibly inside Arceneaux’s home, but authorities do not know exactly how she was killed. Investigators also do not know where Maria was buried or dumped. To this day, her body has never been found.

Arceneaux was finally charged with murder, and he fled.

Gloria and investigators are hoping someone has the courage to come forward with information leading to the arrest of fugitive Erik Arceneaux. Maria’s family is hoping they can recover her remains to give her a proper burial and to bring justice forward.

Arceneaux was born on August 26, 1972 and was last seen in Houston, TX. He’s a black male who stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. His head may be shaved or he may have short black hair.

If you know anything about where Arceneaux is hiding, please call our hotline Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST or text us 24/7 with your tips or information: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE). You can also email: tips@teaminpursuit.com

READ MORE: KTRK

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