A Texas man was sentenced to life behind bars for the 2016 brutal rape and murder of his former girlfriend—a crime that officials say the killer recorded on his cellphone.
Prosecutors said Jesus Campos Jr., who was 15 years old at the time, sent a text message May 29, 2016, to Karen Perez, 15, demanding her to leave school in order to meet up with him. If she didn’t oblige, Campos reportedly said he would murder her, and that her life would “end in bloods,” KHOU reported at the time.
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) November 8, 2018
When Perez didn’t come home from school that day, a search was launched. Surveillance video from a nearby restaurant showed that the girl had been with two boys earlier in the day. Further, officials said video also showed the victim holding hands with her future killer.
Authorities said Perez’s family then urged them to search the Campos home. And Campos’s father eventually reported to police that his son had instructed him to turn the car around while the two were driving and looking for Perez, reportedly saying “because she is not alive.”
Following that report, authorities seized two cellphones belonging to Campos, and found images and a video recording of the attack on one, according to KHOU.
While authorities said no visual material was obtained from the phone because the video was black, audio from the video revealed that Campos had raped the woman before he began strangling her. Perez could then be heard saying, “I don’t want to die,” officials told the news station.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a teenager who knew Perez told authorities that he last saw Perez alive, with Campos, at an abandoned apartment complex. The teen who had been with the victim and the killer earlier that day said that Campos and Perez stayed behind at the building while the rest of a group left.
Perez’s remains were subsequently discovered underneath a sink in the building.
In court, jurors heard that Campos shared images of his victim with others, whose identities are not known.
“I’ve tried several capital murder cases,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Meriwether said, according to the newspaper. “But the recording of Karen being raped, and pleading for her life before she was so viciously murdered, will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
[Feature photo: Karen Perez/Facebook]