Boyfriend charged with murder in death of 15-year-old girl

HOUSTON – The body of a missing 15-year-old South Houston High School student was found inside an abandoned apartment complex in the 1600 block of Avenue N in South Houston, according to Texas Equusearch.

Tim Miller, of Texas Equusearch, told KPRC 2 he found Karen Perez's partially clothed body Monday night hidden inside a cabinet under a kitchen sink. She was found around 10:15 p.m. inside a filthy apartment inside the Allen Arms Apartments complex.

“There was some information leading to the apartment complex here. We searched it earlier in the day and had the school district search it, too," Miller said. "I don’t want to slander anybody, but we searched 25 units, and there are 200 units. It proves it wasn’t searched the way it should’ve been searched yesterday afternoon.”

Karen disappeared on May 27.

“I have no doubt this is foul play,” Miller said. “I think where we found her is the apartment where things happened.”

Channel 2's Brandon Walker obtained surveillance video of Karen at a taqueria on the day she disappeared. The restaurant is just blocks from where her body was found.  

Officials said Karen's teenage boyfriend, who has not been identified, was arrested and charged with murder in connection with her death. He appeared in court Wednesday morning. The judge did not set bail for the teen. He is expected in court again Thursday at 9 a.m.

After Karen went missing, the boy’s father suggested they go look for her but the teen told his father she was no longer alive, according to officials. That's when the father notified police.

Investigators said they took two cellphones from the suspect. Officials said he sent a text message to Karen Friday saying that if she didn't skip school he was going to kill her. She skipped school, police said. Police also found dark video from inside the apartment on one of the cellphones. Investigators said that in the video, Karen could be heard being forced to have sex and saying she doesn't want to die before she is strangled.

Officials said the suspect admitted to killing the girl.

Karen's family was told of the discovery of her body Monday night.

“I’m the one that broke the news to them that we found her not the way we wanted to find her,” Miller said.

Karen was a ninth-grade student at South Houston High School.

Friends and family describe her as a ball of energy and excitement who was always smiling.

Karen’s family says that complex is a known hangout for kids who skip school and is dangerous.

The Perez family says it needs to be locked up tight to keep kids from going there to smoke pot, do drugs and have sex.

This story is developing. Stay with KPRC 2 News for more details as they become available.


About the Authors:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.