Man charged in Campos death was a suspect from the beginning

Man charged in Campos death was a suspect from the beginning

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LUBBOCK, Texas - During the five-year investigation into the disappearance of Zoe Campos, 25-year-old Carlos Rodriquez was a suspect throughout the investigation.

Rodriquez Changed His Story Repeatedly

At first he said he had nothing to do with Zoe's disappearance. Later he admitted he had a Facebook conversation with her, then they met up at his house. 

At another date, Rodriquez gave police the address of the house he rented near 70th and Sherman. It was within the radius of the last cell tower Campos's phone pinged the night of Nov. 17.

Several cadaver dogs searched the house in 2014. Police said the K9s tracked Zoe's scent throughout the house, reporting the "scent of death" in the back yard and the alley but no grave site was found.

Over the following years the warrant indicates detectives held several interviews with Rodriquez. 

A Break in the Case

Move forward to March of this year, another inmate in Lubbock told investigators "they're not gonna find the body until they move the concrete."

In late July, a confidential informant provided info that only Rodriquez would know; Rodriquez "had his Zoe's body in the backyard of his house."

During another search earlier this month, dogs led police to a strong scent. While digging investigators found bones. Before the medical examiner determined their origins, the warrant indicated detectives confronted Rodriquez with the find. 

Rodriquez requested an attorney. The ME later confirmed these were animal remains.

The warrant states Rodriquez then told someone what happened and that person had "snitched."

He reportedly called his mom and said he would later tell her what happened and did not deny that Zoe Campos was in the backyard. This information led investigators to search the property again, this time with ground penetrating radar. 

Nov. 16 Rodriquez requested to speak with investigators. 

After being read his rights Rodriquez said he wanted to tell them what happened and show investigators the exact location of Campos's body.

After about an hour of digging detectives found human remains, Rodriquez was returned to jail and provided investigators with a longer statement.

What Happened

According to the arrest warrant, Rodriquez admitted to meeting Campos through a mutual friend then smoking synthetic marijuana with Campos the night of her disappearance. While smoking, Rodriquez said he lost control and struck Zoe in the face. The warrant indicated he then placed Zoe in a "rear naked choke" hold and strangled her. 

Rodriquez said he buried her in a shallow grave next to his porch that night, Nov. 17, 2013. 

Police report he then drove her car to the Driftwood Apartments near 55th and Utica and left it. He states Zoe's aunt nearly caught him.

Rodriquez said Campos' body remained buried in the yard for several months but his dog kept digging it up. He told investigators he "felt the need to move the body."

While preparing a deeper grave in the same yard, the warrant indicates one of Zoe's body parts fell off. He put it into a trash bag and threw it in the dumpster. 

Campos was then buried on top of a gas line. 

Rodriquez has been in jail since last November awaiting transfer for a four-year sentence on unrelated charges. 

As for this case, his bond is set at $500,000.

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