The victim was identified by police in Arizona as Christi Lynn Romero, 54.
Christi Lynn Romero
Around 5:15 p.m. Monday, officers with the Huntington Beach Police Department responded to reports of a family disturbance at a residence on the 17000 block of Friml Lane.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman found dead in trunk of car leads to arrest in Huntington Beach
When the officers arrived at the scene, they were met with a chilling sight – the lifeless body of a woman had been found in the trunk of a car, prompting investigators to deem that she died "under suspicious circumstances."
Detectives from the Crimes Against Persons Unit were sent to the scene, police said.
"The Orange County District Attorney's Office and the Orange County Sheriff's Department-Coroner Division and Crime Lab also responded to assist," police said. "Based on interviews and evidence located at the scene, 34-year-old Richard Paul Rodriguez of Holbrook, Arizona, was arrested and booked on one count of PC 187(a) Murder."
Richard Paul Rodriguez
The woman's name was withheld, pending notification of her relatives, however, police in Holbrook, Arizona, confirmed to reporters that the victim was 54-year-old Christi Lynn Romero. Holbrook police on Monday had issued a bulletin about Romero going missing and identifying Rodriguez as a suspect in the case.
The bulletin included a photo of Romero's red, two-door sedan, a 1995 Plymouth Neon, that was believed to have been stolen. The photo appears to match the sedan in which the body was found in Huntington Beach.
"It is believed that Richard Rodriguez may have forced his way into Christi's residence and forced her to leave," the bulletin stated. "Christi did have a 9mm pistol which is unaccounted for and is believed to be in Richard's possession."
Holbrook police noted that Romero had obtained a protective order against Rodriguez, and it was served on him on Nov. 2.
Anyone with information connected to this case was asked to contact Detective S. McCollom at 714-960-8848. Alternatively, you can choose to remain anonymous by reaching out to OC Crime Stoppers at 1(855) TIP-OCCS (1-855-847-6227).
CNS contributed to this report.