Police in Texas caught an Oklahoma woman on the run after she allegedly killed her roommate over text messages to her former fiancé, before setting fire to their home in a bid to cover up the murder, authorities say.
Kristen Elizabeth Jones, 21, was arrested Monday on Interstate 35, near Gainesville, Texas. Jones was returned to Oklahoma the next day and charged with murdering Miranda Pederson, 23, according to The Oklahoman.
Paul Harmon, the Oklahoma detective who investigated the murder, said at a Tuesday news conference that the dispute centered on Jones’ former fiancé, Bryson Harrington, who also lived in the same home with the two women.
“The fiancé and the suspect in this had been in a dating relationship for approximately two years,” Harmon said. “And they had just called it to an end, at that point. And that's where [Harrington] felt this had started.”
Jones discovered that Pederson had been texting Harrington, sparking a fight between the two women, according to a police affidavit obtained by the Oklahoman. According to Jones, Pederson stabbed her in the hand first before arming herself with a gun and fatally shooting Pederson.
"Jones states she then went to the bedroom and retrieved a gun and shot Pederson in the back of the head," the affidavit states.
Firefighters battling the blaze discovered Pederson’s body and called police. Cops then got in contact with Jones’ mother, and had her call her daughter while they listened in on the conversation.
“The contents of that phone call, listened to by our investigators, lead them to believe that she was involved in a homicide of the victim who was found in the residence,” Mark Opgrande, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma sheriff’s office involved in the investigation, said at Tuesday’s news conference.
Opgrande added that police also determined at that time that Jones was in a vehicle headed to the Texas border. Oklahoma police contacted police in Texas, told them what was happening, and asked them to find the vehicle Jones was traveling in and arrest her.
In addition to a first-degree murder charge, Jones faces charges of first degree arson and desecrating a human corpse. She is being held without bail at the Oklahoma County jail.
[Photo: Oklahoma County Sheriff]