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Houston man accused of killing pregnant woman arrested in Chicago

by Larry Seward / KHOU 11 News

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 7 at 5:41 PM

HOUSTON—A recent George Bush High School graduate was arrested on a capital murder charge in Chicago Wednesday. Houston police said Joseph Michael Devia, 19, killed a woman because she refused to abort their unborn child.

Friends knew 19-year-old Omoyeme Erazua as Christine. She graduated from George Bush High School in 2010. Detectives said she met Devia, who was a junior at the time, at school.

Court records indicate their relationship ended in a ditch off Richmond Avenue in west Houston.

On August 22, 2010, police found Erazua’s body there. She was stabbed 20 times in the neck.

On the phone Wednesday, the lead detective said they had evidence, but making an arrest took more than a year.

"It was a challenging investigation," said Sergeant Robert Rohling of the Houston Police Department, who worked closely with other officers on the case. "We had more than one person of interest we developed during the investigation. As we moved through the investigation, it began to center on Mr. Devia."

Police traced Erazua’s last known whereabouts to Greyhound’s downtown bus terminal. Surveillance cameras showed her walking away.

According to the probable cause statement, cell phone records showed text messages sent and received between the victim and a man named Joseph. That man believed he was the father of Erazua’s unborn child.

The probable cause further states that text messages showed "Joseph" wished for an abortion, but the victim refused.

Linking phone records to Devia wasn’t enough, though, police said. On November 30, 2011, HPD’s crime lab discovered blood found on Erazua’s body was a mixture of blood that matched Devia’s DNA.

It was enough for police to order his arrest in Chicago, where Devia was beginning boot camp in the Navy. He was awaiting extradition back to Harris County Wednesday.