On Monday, the Holbrook Police Department posted on Facebook a missing person notice for 54-year-old Christi Lynn Romero, who had an order of protection against 34-year-old Richard Paul Rodriguez. She was reported missing by her family Monday morning.
Holbrook Police Department responded to the reported missing person at 201 East Iowa Space #2 in Holbrook. Upon arrival, police found evidence of forced entry into the trailer. The occupant, identified as Romero, was not inside. Her red two-door 1995 Plymouth Neon coupe was also missing. Holbrook Police began searching for Romero and Rodriguez, and described him as an estranged boyfriend in the press release on Tuesday. Rodriguez was reportedly staying at the local mission; however, he wasn’t noticed for several days.
Holbrook Police Department described Romero’s disappearance as suspicious, and wrote in the press release, “Rodriguez forced his way into Romero’s home and forced her to leave with him.”
A nationwide ATTEMPT TO LOCATE (ATL) was entered for Romero, Rodriguez, and the vehicle. Phone location data received indicated the vehicle was traveling toward California on Interstate 10. The ATL was updated with special attention to California, including a residence in Hunting Beach. California Law Enforcement was contacted and briefed on the situation, including the phone location data received.
According to the Huntington Beach Police Department, officers initially responded to a family disturbance at a home near Warner Avenue and Graham Street in Southern California. When they arrived, they found a woman’s body in the trunk of a car.
During the investigation, detectives linked Rodriguez to the disappearance of Romero. Rodriguez was arrested and booked on one count of murder, police wrote in a news release Tuesday.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office confirmed the victim in the trunk of the car was 54-year-old Christi Lynn Romero from Holbrook.
“Officials in Holbrook and Huntington Beach are working together, and the FBI has been contacted,” said the Holbrook Police Department.
The Holbrook Police Department and Mountain Daily Star sends their condolences to the family and friends of Christi Lynn Romero during this difficult time.
If you have any information, please call Huntington Beach Police at 714-960-8848 or 855-847-6227 for Orange County Silent Witness or Holbrook Police at 928-524-3992 or NCSO Dispatch at 928-524-4050.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 @ 1-800-799-7233 or SMS: Text START to 88788.
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist for Mountain Daily Star.