Indigo Garza murder: 20-year-old killed in retaliation over robbery during drug deal, filing reads

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Friday, September 2, 2022
20-year-old murder victim 'got caught up with wrong people,' mom says
More than six months after Indigo Garza was killed while walking to her apartment, police have arrested a suspect in her case.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 20-year-old woman shot to death more than six months ago may have been targeted out of retaliation over a drug transaction, a criminal filing revealed.

The new detail comes as Houston police confirmed on Friday the arrests of a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman and the search for a 19-year-old suspect in connection with Indigo Garza's murder on Feb. 23.

SEE ALSO: Woman shot and killed while walking home from store in northeast Houston

The 20-year-old woman's mother spoke to Eyewitness News on Thursday and described her daughter as beautiful, smart, and loving, but "caught up with the wrong people."

"That's not who she was," Nancy Bulla, Garza's mother, told ABC13 in the wake of 23-year-old Joel Francisco Rojas' arrest.

Editor's note: The video above is from a Sept. 1, 2022, report on an arrest in Indigo Garza's killing

On Friday, an HPD news release elaborated on the breakthrough in the killing, adding that Sara Ramirez, 21, is also in custody and 19-year John Marcos Araniva is wanted.

Rojas and Araniva were charged with murder. All three suspects were each charged with tampering with evidence. Ramirez was additionally charged with aggravated robbery but in a separate incident. Rojas and Ramirez were arrested on Wednesday.

An initial investigation stated Garza was with a friend nearby a north Houston store in the 300 block of Rosamond Street. Garza was walking back to an apartment complex when a white minivan pulled up, according to witness statements to police.

Witnesses said Garza seemed to know the driver because she walked toward the van and was talking to somebody inside. That's when witnesses heard gunshots and Garza went down, police said in a report back in February.

Newly obtained charging documents go further, adding that the victim was killed because she and two other people set up a drug transaction online with Rojas. When they met up, Rojas was robbed and his gun stolen.

Ramirez was a witness to the shooting and is accused of helping clean the white vehicle before dumping it near a bayou, documents read.

Rojas' bond was set at $540,000 total. He's due in court next Tuesday.

Ramirez's bond in Garza's killing was set at $50,000. She also had bonds set for the separate case at a total of $90,000. She's due in court next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police made Araniva's photo public in hopes that he would be captured. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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