Police searching for person of interest after woman found shot to death in motel room

Investigators say she was pregnant at the time of the shooting.

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

HOUSTON - Police are searching for a person of interest after a woman was found dead in a northwest Houston motel.

According to authorities, an officer doing a routine patrol at a nearby Tinsletown movie theater around 11:30 p.m. Sunday was flagged down by a man who told the officer he had been told that a woman had been shot to death in a motel room. 

That officer went to the HomeTowne Studios on Guhn Road near Fawndale Lane to conduct a welfare check, authorities said. 

Police said that officer knocked on the door to the room. When no one answered, the officer went into the room where he found a young woman shot at least four times, authorities said. Police said they also found more than 10 shell casings, but no weapon.

According to investigators, the woman was about 19 years old and about eight months pregnant.

After further investigation, police learned the room was rented to 31-year-old Justin Herron, who is now a person of interest in the case.

“There’s female clothing here so she may have been staying here with maybe the person, this Justin Herron, who rented out the room, we don’t know," said Sgt. Joshua Horn, with the Houston Police Department. "We’re gonna review some of the surveillance that we have to see any suspicious activity, her coming and going off the property.”

The man who gave police the tip is cooperating with authorities. Police are working to learn where he got the information. 

Police said they believe the woman has been dead since Friday, however, a woman who was also staying at the motel said her boyfriend saw the victim and Herron Sunday evening.

"He saw the girl running around naked without any clothes on being chased by the guy that y’all are looking for," the woman said. "I think it’s devastating because we probably could’ve saved her. She was running outside with no clothes on, but she didn’t say she needed help or anything.”

Herron has a long criminal history and is out on bond for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest charges filed in July 2018.

Anyone with information on the woman or Herron’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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