Houston man accused of dismembering woman with chainsaw still on the run

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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On June 21, 2018, a Houston mother disappeared. Since then, police believe a man dismembered her and disposed of her remains.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's been three years since the disappearance of a Houston mother and police still haven't found the man they say is at the center of her brutal killing.

The United States Marshals Service continues to fervently search for 48-year-old Erik Arceneaux, who has been described as a "violent and dangerous man." Arceneaux is charged with the killing of Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez.

Investigators with the Houston Police Department accuse Arceneaux of dismembering her body with an electric chainsaw and disposing of it.

He's been wanted ever since Jimenez-Rodriguez's disappearance three years ago and remains on the run.

READ MORE: Man accused of dismembering woman with chainsaw still on the run

Jimenez-Rodriguez was last seen on June 21, 2018, when she dropped her daughter off with a babysitter and went to work in her silver truck. The single mother was a paralegal working at the Milledge Law Firm, but on that day, she never arrived to work. Her co-workers said it was unusual and out of character.

Investigators said her co-workers started receiving strange text messages from Jimenez-Rodriguez saying that she would be late. Her co-workers questioned the legitimacy of the text messages because they didn't sound like they were coming from her.

Later that evening, police discovered Jimenez-Rodriguez's vehicle parked a few streets away from her east Houston home.

According to court documents, Arceneaux told police he hadn't seen Jimenez-Rodriguez that day, but cell phone data showed that their phones were at the same location. Authorities said they tracked the phones to a Home Depot in northwest Houston and surveillance video showed a man matching Arceneaux's description purchasing trash bags and a chainsaw.

Authorities said they located the receipt for the items which was signed, "Erik Arceneaux." Records show that Jimenez-Rodriguez's phone was at the same location, but she was not seen on surveillance video. Police said they detected blood on the ceiling and walls when they searched Arceneaux's home.

Arceneaux was charged in August 2018, but authorities haven't been able to locate him.

Arceneaux pled guilty to aggravated assault in 2011 after he held a gun to the head of a woman he was dating and threatened to kill her.

Eyewitness News Reporter Steve Campion sat down with Deputy Marshal Alfredo Perez last year to discuss the open case.

Perez appealed to the public to help them catch who they called a "violent predator."

"We need the public's help," said Perez. "We know that people were there that knew about this. They're not being cooperative with law enforcement. If we get a credible tip on where this guy is laying his head, he's going to be asleep one night, and the door is going to come crashing in. A team of U.S. Marshals is going to arrest him."

Perez said someone out there has a tip and can help deliver justice for Jimenez-Rodriguez's family.

"Erik Arceneaux has been sought by the U.S. Marshals Service ever since the warrant was issued for his arrest," said Perez. "We have Houston police officers as well as deputy sheriffs from Harris County on the task force. They've been deputized as U.S. Marshals. It gives them a greater reach to help with their investigations in finding this fugitive."

Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a $5,000 reward for information on Arceneaux's whereabouts. You can report his whereabouts and remain anonymous by calling 713-222-8477or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.


For updates on this case, follow Steve Campion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.