HOUSTON—A woman’s last words to her friend was to tell her children she loved them before being tossed to her death on the Katy Freeway, according to Houston police.
A manhunt is underway for Noe Aranda, 32, who police say shot the woman and his girlfriend on October 11 when he was paranoid and high on cocaine, according to court documents.
The girlfriend, Yadira Reynosa, described the terrifying ordeal to police as she recovered in Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Reynosa said she and her friend, Cristina Hernandez, were traveling with Aranda in a blue Dodge Magnum around 8:20 p.m. when he began to trip out from the drugs.
Reynosa was driving and Aranda was in the front passenger seat. Hernandez was riding in the back.
All of a sudden, Aranda pulled out a 9 mm handgun, turned toward Hernandez and shot her several times, Reynosa said. Hernandez told Reynosa to tell her children that she loved them.
Aranda then opened fire on his girlfriend. He shot Reynosa in the leg and hand while she was driving, then told her to speed up.
In fear for her life, she sped up as instructed, then slammed on the brakes and dove out in the 20900 block of the Katy Freeway. Aranda then got behind the wheel and continued driving.
Witnesses saw the Dodge weaving in and out of traffic in the 24000 block of the Katy Freeway, then saw a body thrown from the moving vehicle. Investigators said it was Hernandez, but before anyone could help her, she was struck by several vehicles. Her body parts were scattered in various parts along the roadway.
Aranda later crashed into the back of a flatbed truck in Brookshire, Texas. He bailed out the vehicle and hasn’t been seen since.
A Mexican passport belonging to Cristina Hernandez was found with the remains on the freeway. The medical examiner located two gunshot wounds while performing an autopsy, but said the remains were in such a traumatic state, it was not known if the victim’s death was caused by the shooting or the vehicles on the roadway.
Aranda has been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
This was not his first run-in with the law. On April 11, Aranda led police on a high-speed chase while his four children were in a truck with him.
On that day, Aranda was riding with the kids and their mother, Ivonne Perez, in a Ford F-150 along the Southwest Freeway at Club Creek. Perez was 8 months pregnant at the time and, just like Reynosa, was driving when Aranda lost his temper. Witnesses allegedly saw him hitting the woman and called police.
Perez pulled over when police arrived, then was pushed her out of the vehicle by Aranda. He then jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off with the children, police said.
Aranda managed to lose police that day while the community frantically searched for the kids.
He dropped the children off, physically unharmed, with a relative a week later. That relative took the kids to their mother’s home in southeast Houston.
Aranda was charged with endangering a child, assaulting a family member and evading arrest for that incident.
He was still at large when he allegedly killed Hernandez and injured Reynosa.
Anyone with information on Aranda is asked to call the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.