$1M bond for man charged in woman’s murder who went missing from NE Houston in 2018; family asks for suspect to confess

HOUSTON – A man who was charged in the death of a woman who went missing out of northeast Houston in 2018 received a $1 million bond, according to officials.

Erik Fardell Arceneaux, 51, appeared in court Tuesday. He is accused of killing 29-year-old Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez. According to police, the victim’s body has not been recovered.

Erik Fardell Arceneaux (Houston Police Department)

“I’m not so happy about that but it’s a high bond, so, I mean, I can’t do nothing about it,” Gloria Jimenez, the victim’s sister, said. “That’s the bond and we just have to go forward (to) try to get justice for Maria. ”

According to Jimenez, she was hoping the suspect would not receive a bond.

“We’re just going to pray to God that he pays for what he did,” Jimenez said.

She said she plans to be present at every court date going forward.

“I will be here until I get justice for Maria,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said it was difficult seeing Arceneaux in court Tuesday. The victim’s father spoke as well, saying the suspect’s bond amount was “ridiculous.”

“If he flees, I mean, the courts are responsible if he flees and doesn’t pay for this crime,” Jimenez said as she translated for her father. “If he doesn’t have the money, well, I mean, that’s what he deserves. My sister is not a price amount. Her life is more than any bond could be set. He just has to pay for what he did.”

According to court documents, Jimenez-Rodriguez was reported missing on June 21, 2018, when she disappeared after dropping her daughter off at a babysitter’s house in the 6900 block of Texarkana Street.

Investigators said Jimenez-Rodriguez did not show up to work the following day but sent multiple texts to a co-worker saying the babysitter told her to pick her daughter back up and another that said she thought someone was following her.

According to police, the victim’s vehicle was found the day after she was reported missing about three miles from the babysitter’s house, where she was last seen. Both her purse and cell phone were missing.

The victim’s family said Arceneaux was Rodriguez’s trainer and they are not sure if they were in a romantic relationship, however, court documents said that Arceneaux, who police said was her then-boyfriend, had been charged with murder in connection with her disappearance. Investigators said they have not seen or spoken to Arceneaux since July of 2018 but they say they have evidence that supports he killed the victim, dismembered her body with a chainsaw, and disposed of it.

Jimenez said the family is trying to be strong while they still have questions about where the victim’s body is.

“I’m hoping that he confesses and says where she’s at so I’m able to put her to rest,” Jimenez said. “Speak up. It’s been five years. I think that it’s time that he says where she’s at. It’s hurting. Think about Destiny. Destiny wants her mother home. Destiny is 8 years old. She was 3 at that time.”


About the Authors:

Prairie View A&M University graduate with a master’s degree in Digital Media Studies from Sam Houston State. Delta woman. Proud aunt. Lover of the color purple. 💜

Christian Terry covered digital news in Tyler and Wichita Falls before returning to the Houston area where he grew up. He is passionate about weather and the outdoors and often spends his days off on the water fishing.