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A Texas man is wanted for the murder of a missing woman after investigators say he purchased suspicious items and searched various ways to get rid of a body.
Chukwuebuka Nwobodo, 28, was charged Wednesday in connection with the murder of Felicia Johnson, 24, who disappeared after leaving a hotel in Houston on April 16, according to police. Detectives with the Houston Police Department say they believe Nwobodo killed Johnson soon after and disposed of her body “within the next few days.”
Her body has yet to be found.
Johnson had reportedly come to Houston from her home in California for a job interview but, when she arrived, she was reportedly turned away. Police say they found online advertisements with her picture on various sex worker websites, including one made on a site called "skipthegame" shortly before she disappeared.
Johnson was reported missing from the InterContinental Houston-Medical Center hotel on April 16 after a family friend tracked her cell phone to a location off the roadway in Bear Creek Pioneers Park near Highway 6 and Clay Road — about 25 miles away from the hotel, according to police. It was covered in blood.
Her case was transferred to homicide investigators on April 21. Her purse was found the following day following a search in the area.
Court records examined by Oxygen.com state that Johnson was seen on hotel surveillance camera leaving around 3:00 a.m. and getting in an Uber ordered for her by Nwobodo, which the company's records allegedly reflect was to take her to a Windchase Boulevard apartment complex where Nwobodo had lived between 2017 and 2020.
As the Uber took Johnson to the complex, surveillance video allegedly captured the suspect driving from his South Richmond Avenue residence to his former apartment building. The Uber arrived just minutes after Nwobodo allegedly did, before “an individual matching the description of Felicia Johnson” is seen exiting the Uber and heading toward the entrance, where Nwobodo was parked.
Police say Nwobodo then brought Johnson back to his current apartment, less than two miles away.
“Evidence indicates Nwobodo killed Johnson inside his apartment before disposing her personal effects in Bear Creek Pioneers Park,” said police. “It is believed he disposed of Johnson’s body at some point within the next few days.”
On May 13, a probable cause arrest warrant was issued for Nwobodo, along with search warrants for his car and home. Police pulled Nwobodo over and allegedly found blood in the trunk and backseat of his vehicle, which also contained a handgun, loose latex gloves, a shovel and a large kitchen knife with blood on it, according to court documents.
That day, police took Nwobodo into custody, though it was unclear why he was subsequently released. He is currently at large.
During the search of his home, investigators also found “apparent blood stains” throughout the residence, and especially large amounts on the bedroom and hallway floors. Those stains were allegedly determined to be a probable match for Johnson's DNA.
Police confiscated Nwobodo’s phone during his May 13 arrest. A later warranted search of his Google accounts revealed several dubious internet searches, including how to dispose of a body and destroy evidence, as well as a photo of a dismembered woman's body and a picture of Johnson's Uber pickup spot and the car that had picked her up.
On April 20, Nwobodo allegedly looked up “can bleach destroy DNA?” And “what does vinegar do to blood?,” according to court documents. The following day, Nwobodo allegedly searched the “most forested part of Houston.”
Court records state that Nwobodo searched “how to delete your history completely” a week after that, as well as the cheapest places in the world to live on a $1,000-per-month budget. He also looked up “How does one plan a murder without getting caught” and “how to get away with murder.”
On May 3, he searched for how missing person cases are handled and whether police can get access to dead people's text messages.
Court documents also state that Nwobodo sought medical treatment for hand lacerations on the morning of Johnson’s disappearance, at which time he allegedly claimed he injured himself while cutting open boxes.
Surveillance video from a local Wal-Mart allegedly showed Nwobodo — with a bandaged hand — April 16 and 17, buying items including towels, trash bags and a flashlight, according to court records. He also bought a pruning saw from Home Depot.
Johnson has still not been found.
Felicia Johnson’s father, Kevin Johnson, created a GoFundMe page to raise funds so that he can continue to stay in Texas and search for his daughter.
“Our family is forced to be separated in this most trying time, and I will stay in Texas as long as I can to ensure everything is being done to find Felicia,” Mr. Johnson wrote. “Our family is not complete without her. I have never felt such a sense of helplessness in my life.”
Johnson is a Black woman with black hair and brown eyes, according to police. She is five feet four inches and weighs 150 pounds, and has a large tattoo of a butterfly and roses on her right shoulder.
“Felicia is a beautiful young lady, both inside and out,” her father wrote on the GoFundMe campaign. “She turned 24 with so much more to learn and enjoy from this life. She aspires to succeed in the hair, makeup and modeling industry.”
Anyone with information about Felicia Johnson’s disappearance or the whereabouts of her alleged killer is asked to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 1-713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 1-713-222-TIPS.
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