HOUSTON -- A grisly killing at a city park in northwest Houston was captured on video by a surveillance camera mounted on a nearby home, providing investigators with graphic details of the woman’s death.
Her body was discovered in a parking lot at T.C. Jester Park around 3 a.m. Monday. She appeared to have been struck by a car in what police suspect was a domestic dispute.
Only after investigators viewed the surveillance video did they discover the extensive brutality of the crime. A man driving the car struck the woman with his elbow and dragged her around the parking lot by her hair, then repeatedly drove over her body, sources tell KHOU 11 News.
The video shows the car driving in reverse to roll over the woman’s body, sources say. The car then speeds away, sources say, but moments later the driver returns to run over the woman’s body one last time.
Police haven’t released the video. The homeowner whose camera documented the crime declined comment.
“It’s pretty brutal, pretty brutal,” said Bart Nabors, a Houston police homicide investigator at the scene. “There was quite a bit of blood on scene and some definite tire impressions through the blood.”
Investigators have tentatively identified the dead woman, according to the Harris Co. Medical Examiner’s Office, but they’re withholding her name pending confirmation from fingerprints. Police at the crime scene said she was in her late 20s or early 30s.
Police are looking for a man named Jessie Blanco who they believe was either the victim’s boyfriend or husband. They believe he was driving a white Pontiac Vibe SUV, which may have been damaged. Investigators stopped short of calling him a suspect in the woman’s death, referring to him as only a “person of interest.”
The parking lot sits adjacent to a swimming pool and a playground in a popular suburban park. Jogging trails and bike paths wind around a long stretch of green space on White Oak Bayou.
Neighbors who walk their dogs and play with their children at the park expressed shock about the killing.
“There’s lots of people that run through here, said Roxanne Rasberry, a neighbor who drove by the crime scene. “They ride their bikes through here. They just opened it up and they walk their kids through the area. No, I can’t believe anything like this would happen.”
“It’s surprising and shocking and so sad for the people,” said Shellye Arnold, who bicycles through the park. “And I can’t imagine that someone did this. I just can’t imagine it.”
Anyone with information can call HPD at 713-884-3131.