A car chase in Texas ended with the discovery of a Houston woman's body in the trunk of the suspect's vehicle, authorities said.
The body of Brianna Johnson was found after Victor Campbell Jr. tried outrunning state troopers during a routine traffic stop around 8 a.m. on Saturday, police said, according to KFDM.
Campbell was spotted speeding on Interstate 10 and refused to pull over his Honda, Sgt. Stephanie Davis told the CBS affiliate. The 35-year-old reportedly collided with a concrete barrier but managed to regain control of the car. He was later apprehended in the parking lot of a Beaumont, Texas thrift shop.
Johnson’s body was then discovered in the trunk of the Honda. Troopers were seen taping off the area after making the morbid discovery.
The 28-year-old’s cause of death hasn’t yet been released and an autopsy is pending. The Texas Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation into the suspected murder with the assistance of the Texas Rangers and state highway patrol.
On Sunday, investigators executed a search warrant at a Houston home that may be connected to the murder investigation, ABC affiliate KTRK-TV reported.
Those who knew Johnson said they are puzzled as to why someone would have killed the Texas Southern University graduate.
“Ana was the sweetest person in the world and if you knew her I know she left her mark in your life,” her aunt Jaivonna Johnson wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up to cover funeral costs and burial expenses. “She didn't deserve this and we will never understand it.”
"It just doesn't seem that this type of incident would happen to her,” her former classmate Tiffany Goodman also told KBMT. “To be found in [the] trunk of a car, it was just so heartbreaking.”
Goodman told the outlet her friend had been in a relationship with Campbell. Neighbors also confirmed they had seen Campbell leaving Johnson’s duplex in the past, according to KTRK-TV.
"It all looked good, but we never know what's going on in someone's household and I just don't know what was the cause behind her tragic incident," she told KBMT.
Other friends said Johnson will be remembered for her sense of humor.
"She was happy," Cierra Kenner told KTRK-TV, adding that Johnson was an avid YouTuber, who often uploaded how-to make-up videos to her channel.
"She always kept me laughing," Kenner added.
Johnson is originally from California, according to the GoFundMe page.
Campbell, who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the police chase, is facing a series of felonies. He’s been charged with abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering, evading arrest, and driving while intoxicated, and was booked into a Jefferson County detention center on Nov. 28, according to online jail records. The Fresno man could face further felony charges, law enforcement said. He’s being held on bonds in excess of $500,000, KBMT reported.
Campbell has been charged with family violence a number of times in the past, KTRK-TV reported.
Anyone with information related to Johnson’s death is urged to contact Houston Police Department homicide detectives at 713-308-3600.
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