Woman found dead in trunk of car was strangled, officials say

Friday, December 4, 2020
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The 28-year-old woman found in the trunk of a car in Beaumont has been linked to a house on Houston's south side.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 28-year-old Houston woman whose body was found in a trunk of a man's car was strangled, authorities say.

An autopsy determined that Briana Johnson died by manual strangulation, according to a Jefferson County Justice of the Peace.

Texas state troopers found Johnson's body while searching a car involved in a chase that began in Chambers County on Saturday.

The driver, Victor Campbell Jr. from Fresno, Texas, was speeding while headed eastbound on I-10 when a trooper pulled him over near FM 365, authorities said. Campbell took off from the traffic stop, leading troopers on the chase that ended when he crashed near a church resale shop parking lot in Beaumont, according to DPS Lt. Chuck Havard.

The 35-year-old Campbell was treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries after the crash and was taken to jail. He faces charges for felony evading arrest, driving while intoxicated, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

He also faces murder charges in Harris County, the Jefferson County Justice of the Peace said. Campbell has several previous charges for family violence.

WATCH: This is video after the chase, where authorities found a woman's body in the trunk.

On Sunday, investigators searched a home in the 4100 block of Maggie Street in the Sunnyside neighborhood related to the case.

Friends said the victim had a sense of humor, loved make-up and would share her work on her YouTube channel. Johnson was also a Texas Southern University graduate.

"She was happy," said friend Cierra Kenner. "She always kept me laughing."

A GoFundMe account has been created for Johnson to help with funeral expenses.

If you know any information that could help in the investigation, you are urged to contact HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.