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Man now charged with murder in Felicia Johnson case was released from custody after her death, documents say

Chukwuebuka Nwobodo is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence, according to court documents. He was in custody about a month ago but was released.
Credit: KHOU

HOUSTON — A man charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of a 24-year-old woman searched for multiple ways to destroy evidence and get away with the crime, court documents say.

Chukwuebuka Nwobodo, 28, faces two felony charges in the disappearance of Felicia Johnson. Nwobodo is charged with murder and tampering/fabricating physical evidence, according to the documents. He is not in custody.

Documents obtained by KHOU 11 News show Nwobodo made multiple searches for ways to destroy evidence. There were also searches of possibly how to dispose of a body and if police can check phone records of a dead person.

Johnson was reported missing on April 16. Her father believed she disappeared after interviewing for a job at an adult entertainment club on Houston's northwest side.

What happened

But police said an investigation revealed Johnson left a hotel in Houston's Medical Center in the early morning hours of April 16. According to the documents, Nwobodo ordered the Uber ride for Johnson after she posted an advertisement on an escort website. Nwobodo then picked Johnson up at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Windchase Boulevard, which is the address of an apartment from which he recently moved.

Police said Nwobodo then took Johnson to his current residence on South Richmond Avenue and killed her before disposing of her phone. Police said it is believed Nwobodo disposed of Johnson's body a few days after the murder.

Documents say Nwobodo received treatment on his right hand at a local clinic on the morning of April 16, claiming he cut himself while opening boxes.

New details

Nwobodo is seen on surveillance footage with a bandage wrap on his right hand while at Walmart purchasing trash bags, a flashlight and towels on April 16 and 17, according to the documents. He also purchased a mechanical saw from Walmart and Home Depot.

Her body has yet to be recovered but investigators said that during a search of his apartment on Richmond, they found DNA evidence that is a strong match to Johnson's.

On April 20, investigators say internet searches connected to Nwobodo's Gmail account shows he looked up if bleach or vinegar could destroy DNA.

On April 21, the same account conducted another search for the "most forested part of Houston."

Several days later, on April 27, Nwobodo's account searched "how to delete your history completely." The next day, documents say the account searched for multiple ways on how to get away with murder. Nwobodo also looked up "15 Cheapest Places To Live In the World: $1,000/Month."

On May 3, Nwobodo's account searched if police could check the phone records of a missing person and if police can unlock a phone during an investigation, according to the documents. Those searches came days after Johnson's bloody phone was found in Bear Creek Park.

On May 13, Nwobodo was taken into custody during a traffic stop. Nwobodo was not charged after the traffic stop. He was released, but a cell phone in his front pocket was seized.

Documents say the cell phone contained a photograph of a dismembered female in addition to three photos of deceased individuals. The individuals in the photos were not identified and no metadata was associated with them.

Anyone with information on Nwobodo’s whereabouts, or this case, is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at (713) 308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-8477.

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