Father of unborn child sought in connection with pregnant woman's death

HOUSTON – Family members said for eight months, all Patra Perkins could talk about was her unborn baby boy, Jai’ari.

“She was so ready to be a mom and she was so full of joy,” Perkins' sister, Kesharra Perkins said.

Patra Perkins' mother, Patricia Perkins, said she was busy planning a baby shower that was to be held on Aug. 11.

On Monday morning, the Perkins family found out that they will never see Patra Perkins again.

“I just didn’t expect for this to happen,” Patricia Perkins said.

“She had so much to live for," Kesharra Perkins said. "And the child ... we will never see our nephew. He will never get the chance to meet his cousins. He will never meet any of us.”

Detectives haven't released the identity of a body of a 19-year-old pregnant woman inside a motel room at the HomeTown Studios in northwest Houston, but the Perkins family is fearing the worst.

Patra Perkins
Patra Perkins

Police said the woman was shot at least four times.

According to detectives, Justin Herron is considered a person of interest in the shooting. Detectives said he rented the room where the body was found.

"We don’t know when she arrived at that room, but we do know for certain Justin Herron checked into that room Aug. 2,” Sgt. Joshua Horn said.

Family members said Herron was the father of the unborn child.

“She named the baby after him because she calls him J,” Patricia Perkins said. “That’s why the baby’s name is Jai’ari.”

Police said Herron has a long criminal history and is out on bond for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest. Those charges were filed in July of last year.

The family told Channel 2 that they weren’t close with Herron, but want him to speak with police because they need answers about what happened at the hotel room.

“She did not deserve this,” Patricia Perkins said.

If you have any information about Herron’s whereabouts you are asked to call authorities at 713-222-TIPS (8477). 

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