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'It's been five years of torture' | Family of woman killed, dismembered relieved arrest made

Erik Arceneaux is accused of killing his girlfriend Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez in June 2018. Her body was never found.

HOUSTON — Maria Jimenez-Rodriguez's family gathered in Nieto Park Friday to express their relief about an arrest finally being made in her death.

"It’s been five years of torture, five years of tears,” said sister Gloria Jiminez. “I’m very relieved that he is finally in jail."

Jimenez-Rodriguez was killed in June 2018. Her boyfriend at the time, Erik Arceneaux, 51, is accused of killing her and cutting up her body that has yet to be found. 

He was arrested Thursday outside a business on Rowlett Road near the Gulf Freeway. His bond was initially set at $250,000 before a criminal court judge later denied it.

READ: After 5 years on the run, man accused of killing his girlfriend, cutting her body up with chainsaw arrested

Arceneaux was actually charged in Jimenez-Rodriguez's death in 2019, but he vanished. 

Surveillance video and blood evidence led detectives to identify Arceneaux as a suspect. Police said he was caught on camera at a Home Depot buying a chainsaw and heavy-duty trash bags and that they later detected extensive blood evidence on the ceiling and walls of his bedroom.

“I think it’s time to get answers and it’s time for him to open up and touch his heart, if he has one, and say where Maria's at,"  Jiminez said. "Give us that information so we can have closure.”

It's unclear if Arceneaux may have been in the Houston area all this time while Jimenez-Rodriguez's family mourned the loss of a young mother, daughter and sister.

“I want to think about the happy times in her life,"  Jiminez said. "I don’t want to think about the last moments.”

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