LPD confirms death of Zoe Campos

LPD confirms death of Zoe Campos

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens confirmed reports that Zoe Campos' remains were buried in the backyard of a home near 70th and Sherman.

In a press conference, he went on to explain why it took one day short of the five year anniversary of her disappearance to locate her remains and charge the suspect with her murder.

"It's not make believe, it's not the movies, it's not Disney," Chief Stevens said. "It's a process."

It's a process he described as confined to the U.S. Constitution and state laws. Which is one of the reasons why Stevens said, five years to charge someone in the 18-year-old's disappearance, isn't long at all.

"We were also following tips by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, sightings of Zoe in other cities, many that said she was alive still," Stevens explained.

Each of those leads were investigated. According to Stevens, 25-year-old Carlos Rodriquez was questioned frequently. Including, once in 2014 when he gave police the address of a house he rented on 70th and Sherman. That led to a K9 search where investigators reported the dogs picking up the, "scent of death."

"If the dog indicates there could be the presence of a cadaver in this general vicinity, but you don't have any other information, that says, yes, and it's over there, you're more limited in what kind of constitutional authority a search warrant or anything else, that's going to allow you to take a shovel after someone's private property," Stevens explained further.

According to Stevens, the investigation escalated a few months ago, when Detective David Schreiber took over the case and added a fresh set of eyes to look at new information and re-evaluate the old.

"When we received enough information to procure a search warrant and go back to the house that definitively showed she may very likely be buried in the backyard, that's how we progressed to the point we are and you can see that it progressed very rapidly," he said.

As the Medical Examiner finishes up forensic testing and confirms the cause of Zoe's death, the case will move on to the District Attorney's office. That starts the process of prosecution, but also a new type of grief for the Campos family.

"I can't even imagine," Stevens said. "I can't imagine what that's like, to have your child killed and missing for five years, but now they've got a new process and I don't know what that's like, but it's a new kind of grieving that they're going to have to go through now."

Chief Stevens wants Lubbock to find solace in the fact that Carlos Rodriquez is in jail, and has been for several months, on unrelated charges.
 

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