Houston man wanted for 5 years for allegedly dismembering girlfriend now in custody, records show

Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez went missing in June 2018 after dropping off her daughter with a babysitter.

Elissa Rivas Image
Friday, September 15, 2023
Arrest made 5 years after single mom killed, dismembered
One of the most high-profile crimes in recent Houston memory may have come to a resolution with a big arrest five years in the making.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For years, Erik Arcenaux had been wanted for his alleged role in the brutal killing of a Houston mother who went missing in 2018. Now, Harris County court records show he was booked into jail on Thursday.

Arcenaux is charged with murder for allegedly killing his girlfriend, Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez, and dismembering her body with a chainsaw in 2018.

He had been on the run for more than five years. Sources told ABC13 that he was arrested by the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force in a Walmart parking lot in southeast Houston. Records state he was arrested and booked into Harris County jail Thursday afternoon.

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 at work. Her co-workers told investigators they received strange text messages from her saying she would be late. But her co-workers questioned the legitimacy of those messages.

Later that evening, her truck was found a few streets away from her east Houston home.

As the investigation evolved, Arcenaux told police he hadn't seen Jimenez-Rodriguez that day, but cell phone data showed their phones were at the same location, according to court documents.

Authorities said they tracked the phones to a Home Depot in northwest Houston, and video showed a man matching Arcenaux's description buying trash bags and a chainsaw.

Further details state authorities found the receipt for the items, which was signed, "Erik Arcenaux." Records also show Jimenez-Rodriguez's phone was at the same location, but she was not seen on video.

Months after Jimenez-Rodriguez went missing, Arcenaux was charged in August 2018. He had been on the run since then.

Amid his arrest, records show he's expected to go through probable cause at about 1 a.m. Friday.


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