74ºF

Man accused of killing woman, with whom he said he was having affair, using hammer

HOUSTON – A man is charged in connection with the death of a woman found in an abandoned pickup truck last week.

Luis Moron Romero, 36, is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Maria Santiago Marquez.

Court documents state Romero struck Marquez with a hammer, which was her cause of death.

Romero appeared in court, where prosecutors said Romero told them he met Marquez, 38, through Facebook and they were involved in a dating relationship, even though he knew she was married.

On Nov. 21, prosecutors said Marquez visited Romero at his apartment complex to break off the relationship. Romero tried to remove her pants, but Marquez told him she had to leave, according to prosecutors.

Romero told investigators he got angry, picked up a hammer and hit her about six times in the head, according to court records.

VIDEO: Romero appears in court

He removed Marquez's body and cleaned up the apartment with Pine-Sol and a mop, then threw his clothes in the dumpster, according to prosecutors.

Marquez’s body was found around 8:45 p.m. that night, police said. She was wrapped in a carpet, bound by metal wires and placed in the passenger side of the pickup that was parked near Coolidge just west of I-610, according to police.

Marquez’s husband, Victor Mejia, told police he and his wife were granite contractors and were working on a project in the Pearland area.

When the mother of three didn’t return home, Mejia called police and told them he’d pinged her cellphone to an apartment complex near where the abandoned truck and her body were found.

On Nov. 27, investigators reviewed surveillance video from the apartment complex in which they said Romero could be seen loading what appeared to be Marquez's wrapped body into the passenger side of his vehicle, then drove off.

Romero was taken into custody Tuesday. Investigators said Romero admitted to killing Marquez.

His bond was set on the two charges for a total of $95,000. Romero had a DWI warrant pending, court records show. He is not a U.S. citizen, but has citizenship in Mexico, according to court records.


About the Authors: