Joseph Steven Carrizales, 26, who was arrested by Laredo, TX, police after briefly fleeing to Mexico across the Rio Grande, told authorities that on July 7 he went to The Happy Hour, a bar in downtown Laredo, with a coworker. When he left, he said he started walking around the downtown area and saw Camarillo crying on a bench.
“Carrizales stated that he and Myriam did a line of cocaine together on the bench as a Lyft...was summoned to pick them up,” according to the affidavit, as LMT Online reported. Previous reports had said that Camarillo was caught on surveillance camera leaving The Happy Hour with Carrizales.
Carrizales said they took the Lyft to his house, where they had sex and did cocaine, after which they fell asleep side by side. The next day, he said he woke up at 2 p.m. and saw Camarillo dead next to him. “Carrizales stated that he panicked and was afraid to call authorities out of fear that he would be accused of killing Myriam. Carrizales stated that the following day, he put Myriam’s body in a tote bucket. Carrizales then placed the tote (containing Myriam’s body) in an upstairs bedroom closet,” according to the affidavit. “Carrizales acknowledged that the body began to cause a foul odor which he tried to mask with bleach.”
After Camarillo's mother filed a missing persons report, police traced the young woman's disappearance to Carrizales' residence when they learned that she had taken a Lyft there. In an upstairs bedroom, they said a "clear plastic tote bucket was discovered containing a human corpse of a young adult female." Carrizales reportedly fled the scene while investigators were still at the house, and neighbors said they saw him running toward the Rio Grande, which is steps away from the residence and marks the border with Mexico. With the help of U.S. Marshals, Laredo police communicated with Mexican authorities, and they apprehended Carrizales, who had reportedly been beaten by drug cartel members.
“Carrizales was found to have been assaulted and beaten by subjects believed to be affiliated with Mexican drug cartels,” according to the affidavit.
Carrizales was arrested and charged with tampering and fabricating physical evidence, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. No bond has been set for him.
“Our worst fears were confirmed when her body was discovered... This case is a tragic one, but there’s a lot of investigation to uncover,” police investigator Joe E. Baeza told LMT Online. “We as a department send our most sincere condolences to the family of Myriam Camarillo and her mother.”
The Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office is working on finding the cause of Camarillo's death, which will help determine whether the case is a homicide, Baeza said.
Camarillo's obituary says she was a basketball enthusiast and animal lover. Her family held a memorial service for her this week. “She loved butterflies, roses, and the color pink. Everything had to be pink. Family always came first for Myriam and she was foremost in lending others a helping hand. A kind heart, a gentle mind, and a beautiful soul gone entirely too soon. She will be dearly missed by all whose lives she has touched,” says the obituary.